ESPN Ties Up with Top Rank for New Fight Series


An exclusive, multimedia agreement has been inked that makes ESPN the home of Top Rank boxing in the U.S. and Canada.

Under the agreement, ESPN will televise live fights on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream them on the ESPN app, and will stream fights and other Top Rank content on the recently announced ESPN-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service via BAMTech and deliver select pay-per-view fight events. It will also air all Top Rank content in English and in French on Canadian sister networks TSN and RDS.

The next Top Rank Boxing on ESPN fight card, scheduled for September 22, features two WBO World Title Fights with Oscar Valdez and Gilberto Ramirez title defenses.

In the first year of the deal, ESPN will showcase 18 main events in the U.S. on multiple platforms.

“ESPN is excited to announce this new relationship with Top Rank, the most comprehensive and innovative media agreement in the history of the sport,” said Burke Magnus, the executive VP of programming and scheduling at ESPN. “We believe in a new vision for boxing that will super-serve existing boxing fans and create legions of new fans through the highest quality boxing content across multiple ESPN platforms—365 days a year. Together, ESPN and Top Rank will build the superstars of tomorrow through unrivaled exposure, original content and cutting-edge technology.”

“Top Rank is thrilled to enter into this relationship with ESPN, the top sports media brand in the world,” said Todd duBoef, the president of Top Rank. “This unprecedented partnership offers a 360 approach to the entire boxing vertical, including live world-class events, unparalleled coverage as well as access to historical moments in the sport.”

“The deal puts Top Rank and its best-in-class stable of global fighters at the core of ESPN’s combat sports offering across television, PPV and OTT,” said Alan Gold, the head of CAA’s Sports Media Advisory practice. “Top Rank has consistently and successfully built many of their fighters into global brands, and now will benefit significantly from ESPN’s broad distribution, sales and marketing support and outstanding storytelling.”