British heavyweight Tyson Fury has signed a deal with a United States network worth a reported £80m.
The deal, which is understood to cover Fury’s next five fights, will see him broadcast on ESPN in the US while remaining on BT Sport in the UK.
Fury believes the deal makes a rematch with Deontay Wilder “more makeable”.
But Fury, Wilder and IBF, WBA and WBO champion Anthony Joshua now work with rival US broadcasters, making future negotiations arguably more difficult.
Fury’s December draw with WBC world heavyweight champion Wilder aired on BT Sport in the UK as well as Showtime – who broadcast the American’s fights – in the US.
Now Fury has his own US broadcaster, agreements will have to be reached between ESPN and Showtime over the airing of a rematch in America.
Joshua meanwhile is signed to the DAZN streaming service in the US.
Fury’s promoter Frank Warren pointed to the size of ESPN’s subscription base when he said his fighter was now on “a bigger platform”.
Asked about negotiations for bouts with the division’s biggest names, Warren said: “They will now have to come to us.
“This ESPN situation for him is probably one of the biggest things to happen to a British sportsman. It’s something special.”
As part of his new deal, Fury will be promoted by both Warren and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum in the US.
Arum, 87, has promoted the likes of Muhammad Ali and Floyd Mayweather and said Fury was “a generational heavyweight talent at the peak of his powers”.