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Canelo Alvarez predicts the demise of pay-per-view boxing in new DAZN ad

Canelo Alvarez predicts the demise of pay-per-view boxing in new DAZN ad
Canelo Alvarez celebrates after defeating Gennady Golovkin by majority decision in a middleweight title boxing match on Sept. 15 in Las Vegas. (Isaac Brekken / Associated Press)

The new sports streaming service DAZN is banking on Canelo Alvarez to gain subscribers, but Alvarez is doing more for that cause than seeking a super-middleweight belt Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden to build that base.

In a television advertisement shared with the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, DAZN has two-belt middleweight champion Alvarez and famed ring announcer Michael Buffer reminding viewers that subscribing is a bargain compared with investing in pay-per-view fights.

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In the ad, Buffer reads from a ring card and wonders if it’s a misprint that DAZN plans to offer more than 100 fight nights in a year for a rate of $9.99 per month following a one-month free trial.

Alvarez assures that’s the deal, and then Buffer, who used to be a constant on HBO pay-per-view bouts before being recently hired for all major DAZN cards, says, “OK, pay-per-view’s totally screwed … .”

To that, Alvarez nods and says, “Si.”

Alvarez, who left HBO for an 11-fight, $365-million deal with DAZN last month, took a day off from preparing for his Madison Square Garden opponent Rocky Fielding at training camp in San Diego to film the advertisement at the Forum.

The ad, which cost more than $1 million to produce with a Spanish-language version and social-media and digital pieces still to come, will run on major networks for five weeks, particularly during live sporting events such as Thanksgiving weekend football and NBA and NHL games. Univision and Telemundo will air the Spanish versions.

Advertising time bought on networks is described as an “eight-figure” investment by a DAZN official.

A DAZN official said having the known commodities of Alvarez and Buffer present the new service is critical to the company’s aim to “put our stake in the ground about why we’re different, that this is not pay-per-view. We’re showing the old way is not relevant. This is better.”

Showtime and Fox disagree, and will stage pay-per-views with Manny Pacquiao versus Adrien Broner on Jan. 19 on Showtime and Mikey Garcia versus Errol Spence Jr. on March 16 on Fox.

In addition to boxing, DAZN is negotiating to provide live Major League Baseball coverage beginning next season.

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