Michael Buffer’s iconic “let’s get ready to rumble” catchphrase will have a new home this fall.
The International Boxing Hall of Famer was in attendance at Industria Studios in the West Village on Tuesday for an exclusive showcase of DAZN, the streaming service that hopes to upend the sports media world. In a personal first, the 73-year-old is poised to become the exclusive main event ring announcer for the broadcast platform after agreeing to a deal.
“A lot of people have thought through the years that I was signed to one network or another,” Buffer told amNewYork. “I’ve never had an arrangement with a network before. I always stayed a free agent.”
DAZN — pronounced “da zone” — will begin streaming in the United States on Sept. 10 for $9.99 per month. According to the platform, it plans to provide millions of hours of content — initially focused on Matchroom Boxing and Bellator MMA — and already has an international foothold in countries such as Austria and Japan. Former ESPN president John Skipper joined the team as executive chairman of parent company Perform Group.
Buffer, who has been on hand for dozens of boxing’s biggest events during a career that has spanned more than three decades, believes the sports landscape has significantly changed. With new technology and access capabilities becoming the norm, he thinks fans will be pleased with DAZN.
“The pay-per-view formula is still going to be around, obviously, no doubt about that,” he said. “But when people can see what some consider pay-per-view fights and not have to pay $80, $90 and $100, I think they’re going to be very successful with DAZN and their whole formula.”
Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will defend his three belts against Alexander Povetkin on Sept. 22 at London’s Wembley Stadium as part of DAZN’s U.S. launch.