It's hard not to notice the increasing frequency of boxing on pay-per-view channels. What's more noticeable is the amount of times this has included one or more British fighters. In the two and a half years alone Carl Froch, George Groves, Anthony Joshua, Karl Frampton, Scott Quigg and Amir Khan have all appeared on pay-per-view television on one or more occasion.
Much of increased coverage is surely down the Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing. The promoter has a stable of more than forty fighters and more than half of Britain's current eleven world champions, across eight different weight classes.
Despite less than one in ten subscribers to sports channels classifying boxing as the reason they subscribe, its survival on pay-per-view television is fascinating and demonstrates boxing's power in attracting paying customers. Other sports, including football, previously attempted the pay-per-view route unsuccessfully. Outside of boxing only WWE and UFC have reported any success in charging customers per event.
The trend for boxing looks good. The first pay-per-view screened in the Unites States by HBO/Showtime was the 1988 heavyweight clash of Mike Tyson and Michael Spinks. Roughly 700,000 customers are thought to have subscribed to the fight. Since then pay-per-view boxing has been screened nearly 100 times. That's an average of almost five fights per year. Last year, more than four and a half million US customers paid to watch Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
The increased incidence of pay-per-view boxing by British fighters probably demonstrate the improving standard of fighters in the UK and increasing demand to watch the sport, despite the additional cost of viewing. The hugely impressive performances of Anthony Joshua mean we are likely to see much more pay-per-view boxing on British television in the months and years ahead.