LONDON (Reuters) - British broadcaster ITV said on Tuesday it had agreed a multi-million pound deal to show boxing on its free-to-air channels and for top flight matches on pay-per-view.
The company said it would partner U.S.-based Haymon Sports' Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series to show a minimum of 15 live events a year, staged in Britain and the United States.
High-profile boxing matches are comparatively rare compared to other sporting events and they often command a lot of pre-match hype, making them especially suitable for pay-per-view.
ITV said boxing fans in Britain would be able to see bouts drawing from PBC's more than 160 boxers, including over 60 current and former world champions.
Boxing would boost income the broadcaster receives directly from viewers, in addition to revenue from advertising and production, ITV said.
It has set a target of creating a direct-to-consumer business that will generate revenue of at least 100 million pounds annually by 2021 through services like pay-per-view and subscription video-on-demand.
The first boxing match from this deal should be broadcast in the first quarter of 2019, an ITV spokesman said.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Edmund Blair)