What does boxing’s pay-per-view clash on 22 December mean for pubs?

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Collaboration opportunity?: two pubs in the same town could cooperate and split the fights between them, says Matchpint's Dom Collingwood
Collaboration opportunity?: two pubs in the same town could cooperate and split the fights between them, says Matchpint's Dom Collingwood
With fighters claiming that fans will be the biggest losers in a pay-per-view clash between Sky Sports Box Office and BT Sport Box Office, The Morning Advertiser spoke to Matchpint about the potential impact on pubs.

IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington - who defends his title against Carl Frampton on BT Sport Box Office on the same night as a rematch between heavyweights Dilian Whyte and Dereck Chisora on Sky Box Office - recently said that fans would be the “real loser” when both fights take place on 22 December.

With fans potentially having to pay for two separate events, Warrington told the BBC: "There will be fans who have to make a choice. It's unfair really. No boxing fan is a winner."

Former world champion Frampton also told BBC Sport: "It's not a good thing for boxing to have two pay-per-view fights on and fans will have to fork out for both, one or none.

"It's close to Christmas too. It's not good for boxing at all."

Promoter of the rematch between Chisora and Whyte, Eddie Hearn, described the clash as “not ideal” adding that the lack of suitable venues in the run up to Christmas left very little room to manoeuvre.

Doubling costs

With boxing the fastest growing sport in pubs according to data from pub marketing platform MatchPint, both fights are potentially lucrative in their own right.

The Morning Advertiser​ asked Matchpint founder Dom Collingwood what the clash could mean for pubs.

Collingwood said: “It's hard to see how adding another fight on the same night will positively impact pub sales.

“If you've been into any pub for big fights over the past two years you'll know they are plenty full enough, often hiring bouncers or ticketing the events to control numbers.

“Yes, there will be plenty of fans unwilling to fork out for two pay-per-view packages at home; yes, many of them will likely venture to a pub instead, but how many pubs will be willing to double their costs for a similar revenue opportunity?

“The pubs that show both will, nevertheless do well.”

Chance to collaborate

“Boxing has proven to be lucrative over the past three years, with many fights bringing in more than £1,000 net profit for operators - a reasonable return on a £200 fight” says Collingwood.

“There is another option which is to seek local collaboration.

“Two pubs in the same town might think about splitting the fights - one shows Frampton vs. Warrington, the other shows Chisora vs. Whyte.

“When anyone rings up, both pubs can direct fans to the relevant pub for the fight they want.

“We have seen this work really well on Sunday nights. Two local pubs have a conversation and decide one will show NFL while the other will show European football.

“Fans have a better experience being surrounded by like minded supporters and benefiting from the pub focus being on their sport.

“Plus they think highly of the pub that recommended another pub down the road even when they couldn't help directly.”

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