Facebook to Live-Stream Boxing Matches From Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy

Facebook is punching up its video lineup with more live sports, inking a deal with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions to stream live boxing and original programming on the platform.

The live boxing will be available to fans in the U.S. on Facebook Watch and globally via the Golden Boy Promotions page on Facebook (at this link). The pact expands L.A.-based Golden Boy’s distribution outlets, which include deals with ESPN, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, HBO, EstrellaTV, and RingTV.com. The company also distributes content on owned-and-operated sites CaneloGGG.com and GoldenBoyPPV.com.

Under the pact, the first of Golden Boy’s five live fight nights on Facebook will be Aug. 11, featuring Jesus Rojas (26-1-2, 19 KOs) defending his WBA World Featherweight title against Joseph “JoJo “Diaz Jr. (26-1, 14 KOs) at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood. The second live bout be on Aug. 18 with light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera (21-2, 14 KOs) squaring off against a yet-to-be announced opponent at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa.

The boxing bouts will not carry any advertising. So far, none of the live sports broadcasts on Facebook have carried ads but the company has been experimenting with inserting ads into live-streaming video.

For the live Facebook boxing series, Golden Boy has teamed with Kathy Duva’s Main Events boxing promotion company to increase “the number of world-class fighters to be featured.” Golden Boy’s live boxing series on Facebook will be augmented with “shoulder programming,” including rebroadcasts of past fights featuring commentary from the boxers themselves, with the first content slated to debut July 13. The on-demand programming also will feature celebrities, influencers, and boxing commentators.

De La Hoya, a former prizefighter who won multiple boxing world titles in six different weight classes, touted the Facebook agreement as a “game-changing deal for the sport of boxing.” “The reach of Facebook is just incredible, and our sponsorship conversations will truly resonate with brands across all categories,” De La Hoya said in a statement. Kathy Duva added, “We look now to a future with Facebook with unlimited opportunity, where promoters can work together to best serve the interests of the fighters and fans all over the world.”

Golden Boy Media and Entertainment will produce the live fights and original programming for Facebook, with De La Hoya serving as executive producer. The content will take advantage of Facebook’s social features; for example, the live broadcasts will incorporate the real-time fan interaction and engagement.

For Facebook, the Golden Boy boxing deal is the latest in its strategy to drive up viewing on Watch. The company’s most recent live sports deals include with action-sports company Nitro Circus and Fox Sports for Ice Cube’s Big3 basketball league.

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