In the upcoming electrifying bout between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou scheduled on October 28, the combat sports world is set to witness a unique crossover spectacle.
The fight, being held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is exclusively available on TNT Sports Box Office (formerly BT Sport Box Office), where even existing TNT Sports subscribers will have to pay extra to watch the event.
However, despite the high anticipation, not all boxing aficionados will have the same ease of access to this clash of titans.
Yes, even three months after TNT Sports replaced BT Sport, with its streaming platform moving over to Discovery+, direct subscribers – meaning, those without a Sky, BT TV or Virgin Media subscription – will have a hard time watching Fury VS Ngannou on their big-screen TVs.
Read ahead for all the ways to watch – and a few possible workarounds.
The Collision of Titans
In a rare spectacle, Tyson Fury, the reigning WBC Heavyweight champion, is set to exchange blows with Francis Ngannou, a former UFC heavyweight champion, in a boxing ring.
This crossover event marks Ngannou’s boxing debut as he transitions from the octagon to the squared circle, a move that has been both lauded and scrutinised in various quarters.
The evening promises more than the main event. An all-heavyweight undercard featuring Fabio Wardley vs. David Adeleye, both unbeaten British fighters, vying for the British Heavyweight title, adds to the allure of the night.
Also, former WBO heavyweight world champion, Joseph Parker, is set to face Canada’s Simon Kean, offering a full package for the ardent fight aficionado.
The undercard will be live on TNT Sports Box Office from 6pm (UK time) with the first hour available for anyone to watch.
This will be followed by the opening ceremony of the fourth edition of Riyadh Season which will feature a number of live performances, prior to the main boxing event of the evening.
The fight will be presented by Laura Woods, alongside Carl Frampton and Dan Hardy.
What Is TNT Sports Box Office?
Back in July, The UK sports broadcasting landscape underwent a significant transformation, when TNT Sports replaced BT Sport.
BT Sport has been a major player in the UK’s sports broadcasting scene since its launch in 2013. It boasted an impressive portfolio of sports rights, including Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and Europa League matches, among other sporting events.
However, the advent of TNT Sports marked the end of BT Sport’s era and the beginning of a new chapter.
This change was the result of the merger between BT Sport and Warner Bros. Discovery / Eurosport, aiming to consolidate their TV and streaming rights under the Discovery+ umbrella, and the Discovery+ app.
Therefore, you can now get TNT Sports either on the pay-TV platforms like Sky and Virgin Media, or via streaming, on the Discovery+ app.
Recently, the BT Sport mobile app was also shut down, with users being directed either to the new TNT Sports app, or to Discovery+.
And, similarly to BT Sport becoming TNT Sports – BT Sport Box Office, the platform for Pay Per View sporting events – was renamed to TNT Sports Box Office.
How to Watch Fury V Ngannou
There are various ways to watch TNT Sports Box Office – and they’re all identical to how BT Sport Box Office used to work.
It’s important to note that those who wish to watch the event don’t need to be TNT Sports subscribers – in fact, it doesn’t even matter if they are – the price is still a one-time fee of £21.95 for everyone.
But, the way to watch does depend on whether you’re a pay-TV subscriber or not. If you are, things are easy:
Virgin Media TV Customers: If you have a TiVo and/or V6 set-top-box, go to the On-Demand section and choose Live Events. For those with a Virgin TV360 and/or the Virgin Media Stream box, navigate to the Pay Per View Events rail.
BT TV Customers: Go to channel 494 and pay using your remote control.
Sky Customers: You can purchase TNT Sports Box Office on channel 490 via the remote control or through Sky’s website.
However, the caveat is for TNT Sports standalone/direct subscribers. Despite the hype, they are left in the cold unless they possess a Google Chromecast or Apple Airplay to cast the fight onto their TV screens.
This limitation isn’t new – TNT Sports subscribers faced a similar situation during the Usyk vs Dubois fight, a precedent that highlighted the inadequacy of TNT Sports’ service for standalone subscribers – something inherited from the late BT Sport.
It’s disheartening for a direct subscriber to have to seek additional hardware to enjoy what should be a straightforward viewing experience on the big screen.
While TNT Sports Box Office does offer an online platform and a dedicated mobile app for streaming, these options come with their own set of challenges.
How to Watch Via The App/Website
Online Website (via browser): Viewers can visit the TNT Sports Box Office website, and follow the instructions to subscribe and watch the fight online.
TNT Sports Box Office App: The app is another option for those who prefer mobile viewing. After downloading the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play, users can purchase the event and stream it live on their mobile devices (phones and tablets).
The service allows for flexible payment methods, including adding the cost to your mobile bill if you’re a customer of EE, Three, Vodafone, or O2.
Want to pay and watch Fury V Ngannou on your TV without a pay-TV subscription? Your options are quite limited, and surprisingly – they do NOT include the Discovery+ app.
You need to pay to watch the fight on your mobile phone/tablet – and then use either a Google Chromecast streaming device or Apple Airplay to cast the fight from your phone – to your TV.
It’s still likely that a dedicated, Pay-Per-View TNT Sports Box Office section will be added to the Discovery+ app in the future (where the subscription-based TNT Sports platform now resides) – but for now, such an option does not exist.