New deal for ITV
ITV has signed a new deal with Frank ******'s Sports Network to broadcast seven boxing events, featuring British star Amir Khan over the next 12 months.
The new deal, which will see the seven events broadcast on ITV1 as well as extra output on ITV4, begins with this weekend's clash between 20-year-old Khan and Scotland's Willie Limond for the Commonwealth lightweight title.
A further five events, headlined by Amir Khan, will feature on ITV over the next 12 months to June 2008, as well as an additional bill on July 21 featuring Alex Arthur and Enzo Maccarinelli.
ITV returned to live of boxing in 2005 after an absence of almost a decade with coverage of Amir Khan's last amateur bout against his Olympic nemesis Mario Kindelan and then his first 12 professional fights.
ITV director of news and sport Mark Sharman said: "We're very pleased to have signed this deal which will keep boxing at the heart of ITV Sport's free-to-air portfolio over the next year. Amir Khan is a huge star with great potential and has played an important role in renewing interest in boxing over the last few years."
Khan said: "I'm really pleased that Frank has agreed a deal for his promotions and my fights to be televised on ITV. They have covered my career from my last amateur fight against Mario Kindelan until now as an unbeaten professional and have done a great job. I've got a great fight against Willie Limond for the Commonwealth title on Saturday night and I aim to go all the way and win a world title."
Promoter ****** added: "I'm delighted that some of my promotions will be on ITV and I look forward to watching Amir's career develop successfully on the network. Amir has a very tough fight ahead of him this Saturday against Willie Limond which will be a great fight for the fans and viewers."
The boxing deal is the latest in a number of successful acquisitions and renewals for ITV Sport this year, including live rights to the FA Cup and England home games (from 200
, the Euro 2008 Championships and the Grand Slam of Darts.
ITV Sport's portfolio also includes Formula 1, 2007 IRB Rugby World Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, FIFA World Cups in 2010 and 2014, Tour de France and The Boat Race.