‘Huge success’: Stan boss eyes more boxing after 120 second fight

‘Huge success’: Stan boss eyes more boxing after 120 second fight - March 25, 2022


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By Zoe Samios

Newly appointed chief executive of streaming service Stan, Martin Kugeler, has shrugged off criticism of the short-lived fight between Sonny Bill Williams and Barry Hall and declared ambitions to dominate coverage of boxing in Australia.

Stan, which expanded into live sport last year after acquiring rights to key rugby union, tennis and European soccer competitions, held its first pay-per-view event this week, a boxing match between retired cross code star Sonny Bill Williams and former AFL player Barry Hall. But the bout, which cost subscribers $50 to watch, lasted only two minutes.

While Mr Kugeler declined to provide a revenue or audience figure for the fight, he said it exceeded Stan’s expectations. “Turf War was a huge success for Stan, and I am incredibly proud of what we achieved on Wednesday night. We have significantly exceeded all expectations for pay-per-view sales,” Mr Kugeler said.

Stan’s parent company Nine Entertainment Co is the owner of this masthead.

Hall, who apologised for his performance, was knocked down three times inside the first two minutes, causing referees to stop the fight. The quick end to the match aggravated some viewers including NRL commentator Phil Gould, who said he had spent the same amount of money - $50 - on a greyhound race that had lasted longer and The Daily Telegraph’s columnist Phil Rothfield who called it a “farce”.

Phil Gould Twitter

I’ve spent $50 on greyhound races that lasted longer than that fight.

But Mr Kugeler said what viewers had received was a world-class event. “It was not just a boxing fight, it was an entertainment event,” he said. “With this success under our belt, Stan will become the new home of boxing in Australia.”

Promoter Green Machine Boxing said the fight was a “landmark moment” and Stan’s push into pay per view events “will be the catalyst for exposing and building household names in this gruelling sport with a view to building more world champions”.

(The Sydney Morning Herald)