Two emerging digital media companies are coming together, as Uninterrupted and DAZN have partnered on “40 Days,” a docuseries chronicling the buildup Saturday’s boxing match between Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs.
Uninterrupted produced the series for DAZN, with co-founders LeBron James and Maverick Carter serving as executive producers. It’s the first in what is expected to become a long-running slate of boxing content produced by Uninterrupted for DAZN and Golden Boy Promotions. The title references the eight weeks of training required prior to a match. The series debuted on April 23 on Uninterrupted’s and DAZN channels and later made its way on Univision, NBC Sports Network and other regional sports networks such as MSG. Part Two of the series debuted on Tuesday.
The fight itself will be streamed exclusively on DAZN on Saturday.
“Uninterrupted is always looking for new ways to tell authentic athlete stories,” said Carter, who’s also Uninterrupted CEO. “So when DAZN approached us about making documentaries about some of the biggest names in boxing, we were excited about the opportunity to work with these athletes to tell a fuller human story.”
DAZN connected with Uninterrupted because of the company’s focus on athlete empowerment and the ability to tell deeper stories than previous, similar pre-event documentary series. The hope is to showcase a new side of boxers to a global audience.
“These documentaries will shine a light on the three-dimensional aspect of who these athletes are outside of the ring and empower them to tell their own stories as they prepare for some of the biggest moments in their boxing careers,” Carter said.
While DAZN representatives were complimentary of HBO’s 24/7 series and the trail it blazed for behind-the-scenes access to athletes, the goal for “40 Days” is to enhance that perspective. The hope is to merge the 24/7 type of docuseries with the sort of depth, entertainment and outside sources on par with ESPN’s 30 For 30 documentaries, a project DAZN Executive Chairman John Skipper helped bring to prominence during his tenure at ESPN.
Skipper believes having James and Carter play a role in the production process to tell the stories provides fans an exceptional look behind the scenes through their extensive experience in telling athlete stories. The Canelo-Jacobs fight also provided a strong launch point for the series, as Canelo enters as WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion, while Jacobs is the IBF Middleweight World Champion.
“Live events are going to drive our business in the U.S.,” Skipper said. “We want to invest in original content to drive awareness of our big events. There are literally no better teammates than LeBron James and Maverick Carter to accomplish that.”
Carter, a longtime boxing fan, was excited to jump into the partnership for “the opportunity to give these athletes a platform to tell a story beyond the ring.” In the bigger picture, it also provides Uninterrupted with access to some of the biggest names in boxing and the global streaming distribution platform of DAZN.
And for Golden Boy, it’s a way to leverage a tentpole event into a relationship with up-and-coming companies.
“These are exciting times for the sport of boxing, and this partnership between Uninterrupted is yet another example of that,” Golden Boy Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya said in a release. “This is excellent for the sport as it will provide the kind of unique lens that only LeBron James and Maverick Carter can bring.”
In DAZN’s quest to become the leader in sports streaming, there certainly could be more in the works for other sports should the “40 Days” experiment in behind-the-scenes realm works, as Skipper said the company will heavily invest in original programming in the coming months.
For right now, the partnership represents a beneficial relationship for all three parties.