Sporting Narratives is GamblingTV’s exploration into a time when a gripping sporting story was told through the art of cinema.
In a special edition this week, we look at how Sky told the story and rejuvenated the rivalry of British boxing icons, Kell Brook and Amir Khan.
As the media rights battle within sports continues to take elevated value, the power of the Sky Sports vehicle was underlined as the firm put its full weight behind last Saturday’s event in Manchester and significantly bolstered fan enthusiasm from a wider demographic for the bout.
After a 15-year story, it’s fair to say that the momentum for the matchup had dwindled, however, when the first bell rang on Saturday evening, anticipation was at fever pitch as even the most casual fan was eagerly awaiting the collision.
Sky’s coverage began early, as the group produced a Behind The Ropes series, which featured an insight into how the clash finally came to be and what steps each man took to prepare.
Interviewing the fighters, their trainers and families, the show provided unique insight and truly emphasised just how embroiled in the battle each combatant is.
The show benefited significantly from the charismatic coaches, as Dom Ingle provided one of the most bizarre moments of run-in, when he necked his fighter’s sweat from a glass.
On the other side, Bo Mac and Terrence Crawford were key in the Khan camp, and the presence of the pound-for-pound contender Crawford enlivened the show for fight fans.
A regular feature of Sky’s fight week, the ‘Gloves Are Off’ series also added to the engagement of fight week, as many deemed Khan – who would eventually fall to Brook – as the winner of the pre-fight mind games when they went wit-for-wit in a heated clash.
Furthermore, the battle also benefited from the backing of Sky Sports News, with the platform providing coverage for the fight and expanding the demographic of the fanbase engaged in the event.