YouTube's biggest-ever sporting event is back for a second round - but this time, it's heading elsewhere. Not only is KSI's rematch with Logan Paul happening across the pond in the famous Staples Centre, home of the LA Lakers, event organisers have turned their backs on the platform that made these two the superstars they are today.
Instead of being shown live on YouTube, which the last fight was at a princely £10 pay-per-view rate, it will instead be shown on sports streaming platform DAZN. KSI's manager has cited YouTube's security concerns as the reason, with round one being pirated to more than a million viewers on both YouTube and Twitch.
Getting DAZN involved comes with huge benefits, but it's a bit of a double-edged sword. While the platform is used to hosting huge sporting events and therefore furthers the legitimacy of what is essentially a glorified playground scrap, the fighters are asking their viewers to leave their current platforms and migrate with them for one night only. The biggest fans will of course follow, but will it reach quite the same audience? It seems unlikely.
It's a gamble for DAZN, too - no doubt a calculated one. The two fighters boast a combined 40 million subscribers and, among a demographic that the platform has yet been able to tap into, are some of the biggest stars on the planet. They've undoubtedly stumped up plenty of cash to support the event and to gain exclusive rights in a wealth of countries, but those fans are going to need to migrate if it's a deal that will prove able to wash its own face. Their next job is making sure that migration is as easy as possible, before attempting to keep as many of them on board as possible.
“We didn’t host the last fight on either of the fighter’s own YouTube channels, so it was clear that the rematch could be hosted anywhere we choose,” Chivers said. “Somewhere equally stable, accessible and on a platform that broadcasts top class sporting events regularly, with a suitable budget to mitigate risk and costs.” It’s unclear how much the fight will cost, or whether people will have to sign up in advance to stream the match. Part of the advantage to being on YouTube is that a large number of people have accounts, and know where to go to find the fight. It’s also where Paul and Olatunji upload the majority of their content — their fans already know where to find them. DAZN is a lesser known site that might not catch the attention of people like YouTube would.