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Is BoxNation worth paying £10 per month?


"BoxNation is the channel that every boxing fan has been waiting for. 
It's really simple, for just £10 a month you will get exclusive access to the big live fights from all around the world and all the behind-the-scenes access to the boxing world you could want -from interviews with the boxers, to expert commentary and analysis, to weigh-ins and press conferences. 
We're not going to get distracted by other sports, or focus all our energy on one-off events. We want to put the fans first for once, and go further than anyone has before to bring you boxing."
This how Frank Warren's new boxing channel, BoxNation, sells itself - an antidote to the ppv stranglehold on big boxing events. For £10 per month it is promising us more fights than we can watch as well as inside info and exclusive interviews. This is a mighty claim; does it deliver? Let's have a look. But first things first.




How Can I Watch BoxNation?

BoxNation is only available to Sky and Virgin customers. If you're on terrestrial or freeview, tough luck. This is a pity because "freeviewers" are growing in number as Credit Crunch 2 sets in, forcing people who enjoyed Sky and Virgin to cancel their subscriptions. The lucky souls who have Sky and are into sports already pay £50 per month for their TV - you'll have to do the hard sell to get them to shell another £120 a year.

For a while BoxNation hosted an online stream which showed big Saturday night fights. It was fraught with buffering problems as the BoxNation servers struggled under the strain of eager boxing fans demands. I don't miss it. It was too frustrating to have a fight buffer halfway through the tenth round when Nathan Cleverly throws a right hook.

They have since taken the steaming service down. According to their website, BoxNation do intend to resume this service at some point in the future, but when will that be? It is anyone's guess. Sensible money says they will wait and see how successful the channel is before shelling out on a decent streaming service.


How Much Does BoxNation Cost?

At first it was free while they got up and running, and it was only available to people paying for Sky. There was plenty of moaning from Virgin customers until December 1st when Boxnation secured a deal with the UK's second-largest television provider. Since then, Boxnation has been available on Sky and Virgin as a subscription-only channel.

If you want BoxNation you better be prepared to spend £10 a month for a minimum term of six months.


This leads us to a very important question.


Is BoxNation Worth It?

This is  difficult to answer because I don't know what your expectations are. BoxNation is making all the right sounds. Frank Warren and co promise us they will show the biggest and best fights scheduled in the boxing world and so far this has meant the likes of Nathan Cleverley vs Tony Bellew and Bernard Hopkins vs Chad Dawson. Cleverly/Bellew was a great fight and easily worth £10. Hopkins and Dawson's fight was a disaster, but I don't think we can blame BoxNation for that.

Boxnation does have a decent selection of fights, and their undercard coverage is detailed. On Saturday nights it is a treat - they start with UK fights from 7pm and they run all the way into the early hours where they wander over to America. Fight Nights marathons are back, just make sure you have pizza, crisps, beer and coffee. It doesn't end there though.

They also have you covered if you miss a fight; the big matches, such as Saul Alvarez vs Kermit Cintron, are replayed for a couple of weeks so everyone gets a chance to see them. That's pretty handy for people who fancy seeing a fight but life gets in the way. BoxNation aren't angels though - another reason they run replays is that, for now anyway, they don't have enough programming to fill a full schedule. 




The BoxNation Scehdule 

To give you an example of what you should expect from BoxNation, here the fights the channel has scheduled for the rest of December:

  • 14/12 Lee Selby vs John Simpson [British and Commonwealth Featherweight Championship]
  • 16/12 Stephen Ormond vs Carl Johanneson [WBO Intercontinental Lightweight  Championship]

Yep, that's it. But to be fair to them, they have already shown Cotto v Margarito, Povetkin v Boswell and Crolla v Limond. We also need to remember that the channel is still new and this month hasn't been action packed. Last week there was Khan vs Peterson, but Khan has sold himself to Sky. Next week we've got the biggest fight of the year - Carl Froch v Andre Ward - but we won't be watching it on BoxNation. Instead it's headed to...you guessed it...Sky Sports.




Should I Buy Boxnation?

If you can't go a second without watching or talking about boxing, pay for BoxNation. It has coverage of the big fights and some other interesting ones in between. The news sections are good, as well as discussion shows such as Bunce's Boxing Hour. If this sounds like your kind of thing, get BoxNation. I have it, and even if I don't always sit and watch with full concentration, it is a good station to have on in the background.

If though, you only tune in to watch the occasional fight, then paying £10 per month for is too much. Save your money. There's a site called YouTube that would fill your boxing needs. Right now, BoxNation gets a 7/10. With more fights and programming it could be a solid 9/10 channel. So, should you buy BoxNation? Here's what I think.

Hardcore fan who watches any boxing he/she can lay their eyes on -   Yes, buy it. Buy it now.

I'll watch a fight if it's in front of me - Buy it, but consider waiting a month or two until a busy couple of months come up.

Casual fan who will watch David Haye face a Klitschko every once in a while - save your money. You won't get enough out of BoxNation to justify the cost.


Have you got BoxNation? What do you think of the fights so far, and will you be renewing when your six months are up?