US television viewers can watch Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko either live on Showtime or tape-delayed on HBO.
Just under two weeks away from fight night, the massive heavyweight championship bout between Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko finally has a US TV rights agreement.
In an official announcement made on Monday, Showtime has secured the rights to broadcast the April 29th event live, while HBO will have its own tape-delayed airing later that evening.
Matchroom Sport, Klitschko Management Group (KMG) and K2 Promotions have reached agreement with U.S. premium television giants Showtime and HBO to televise the most significant heavyweight world championship match in more than a decade. On Saturday, April 29, IBF Heavyweight World Champion Anthony Joshua will face former unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko from a sold-out Wembley Stadium in London.
Showtime is the exclusive U.S. television partner of Joshua, while HBO has an exclusive agreement with Klitschko in the States. Each premium network will produce its own separate telecast of the main event match for the U.S. audience. SHOWTIME will televise its SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING presentation live at 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT, while HBO will televise its WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® production at approximately 10:45 p.m. ET/PT.
Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) and Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) will meet for Joshua’s IBF World Championship and the vacant IBO and WBA World Championships. The British sensation Joshua has knocked out all 18 of his professional opponents in a meteoric rise to stardom, while the long-reigning world champion from Ukraine, Klitschko, aims to win back titles he previously held in his 11-year rule as heavyweight world champion. Joshua vs. Klitschko is promoted by Matchroom Boxing, KMG and K2 Promotions and has officially sold out Wembley Stadium with a record-setting 90,000 tickets sold.
This is the third time that Showtime and HBO have both broadcast a lucrative boxing match. The two rival networks had joint-production of the Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson pay-per-view in 2002, as well as for Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao in 2015.
What makes this deal so different and unprecedented is that it won’t be a PPV in the US, but instead both networks will send their teams to Wembley Stadium and conduct two separate broadcasts. Joshua recently inked an exclusive deal with Showtime, while Klitschko is with HBO (but not exclusively). The sheer magnitude of this fight launched a bidding war for live rights and ultimately they had to compromise. It’s expected that should the rematch clause be exercised, HBO will show a hypothetical Joshua-Klitschko 2 live, with Showtime broadcasting on tape-delay.
This is a huge win for Showtime to get live rights, and they continue to have an impressive 2017 in terms of fight quality. They’ll also be broadcasting Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence for Brook’s IBF welterweight title on May 27th at a soccer stadium in Sheffield, England.
Joshua vs. Klitschko will air on Sky Box Office (at a cost of £19.95, or roughly $25 US) in the UK, while RTL will broadcast the fight on free TV in Germany. All signs point to this being the highest-grossing boxing match ever held on British soil.