ONdigital secures tyson comeback fights

8th December 1998

Exclusively free live coverage of Mike Tyson's first two fights will be available only to ONdigital subscribers. ONdigital - launched on 15 November as the world's first digital pay television service through an aerial - will be the only UK broadcaster to show Tyson's heavyweight clash with South African Francois Botha free and live on January 16th from Las Vegas.

The undercard will also be shown live. ONdigital, which also has options on further Tyson fights, will show the bout free to all subscribers on the First ONdigital channel, as its first programme.

Chief Executive Stephen Grabiner said:

"This is a major coup for ONdigital and Is a clear demonstration of our commitment to providing our subscribers with exclusive top quality events, whenever the chance arises.
"We recognise the importance of top sport to existing and potential buyers of digital TV. We intend to get other high profile events to boost sales and awareness."

ONdigital beat off bids from satellite and cable to secure the deal through the Media Partners agency. First ONdigital is a premium events channel that will be used to premiere exclusives such as blockbuster movies, live concerts, top dramas and other sporting events. £20 million will be invested in its exclusive broadcasting schedules during 1999.