Showtime Championship Boxing: Saying Good Bye!

By Tom Donelson / Respected Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)

Showtime has now made if officials, it is no longer in the boxing business after this year, and this will not benefit the sport at all.  This leaves a big hole in a network where some of the bigger matches occurred, in particular after HBO left business. 

Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn noted, “A lot of people don’t get on with people in boxing, but you’ve also got to look at the bigger picture. It’s not great news for boxing. It’s just a sign of the future and the sign that the way that content is being distributed and delivered to fight fans, and that is by streaming 다운로드. We saw that a couple of years ago, we made our own move to build those partnerships and those relationships, but boxing will be worse off without Showtime, as it was worse off without HBO.”

Showtime and boxing lasted 38 years beginning with the fight between Marvin Hagler and John Mugabi and for many years, HBO and Showtime aired the biggest fights, but CBS sports will be the main sports division for Paramount who owns Showtime and there is no plan to air boxing events on CBS sports.  Showtime was synonymous with boxing but no longer.

Hearn point is that boxing is moving to streaming services and we are seeing that of other sports.  ESPN Plus is a streaming service where many sporting events are moving to, among those sports are boxing and DAZN has entered the boxing scene with their streaming. 

Boxer insider Sean Crose observed, “And, in a lot of ways, it’s going nowhere ahn lab 무료 다운로드. DAZN will still broadcast fights. ESPN will still broadcast fights. What’s more, other entities are now involved in the boxing industry, entities that may soon become major players. Considering the fact that Showtime wasn’t running much more than pay per view cards in recent months anyway, it’s pretty safe to assume boxing’s fandom will deal with the network’s exit in a healthy manner fairly quickly vpn gate. Still, there’s unsettling questions that need answering. For starters, will boxing continue to slip further and further away from the American mainstream? Admittedly, streaming is the future, but right now big cable outlets still carry a lot of figurative water. At the moment, only ESPN is currently broadcasting boxing 다운로드. Who is to say it will continue to at this rate?”

Here is the rub, there are very few sports networks just as ESPN and Fox sports that televise boxing and even Mixed Martial Arts have moved to PPV/Streaming.  The problems for sports like boxing moving toward streaming is that you need to build up your audience and one way is to be on more popular network whether it is ESPN or Fox sports.  Many boxing fans are elderly where cable television is what they prefer to watch their sports.  Of course if you buy streaming services, eventually you move away from cable. One of my daughters has moved to streaming and away from cable and she has many different options, but you have been able to find the right services to be able to get boxing matches.   Hearn noted, “Ironically the news comes probably one of their (showtime)  best years in terms of bigger fights, but it’s just the future of a traditional broadcaster doesn’t lend itself, in my opinion, to the audience anymore.” 

In many major sports, the broadcasts give a broader audience a chance to see the big games and big events.  Major sports may move their sports to streaming but they understand that they need to build their audience and put much of their sports events on cable or the more popular streaming services 다운로드. Boxing may lose that with the move to streaming compared to other sports.   Showtime over the years did not just broadcast the big events but also SHOBOX, the Next Generation where young boxers were given exposures and Showtime had a chance to build an audience for those young fighters as they moved up the ranks.  I remember seeing a young Paul Malignaggi on a ShoBox: The Next Generation in Laughlin Nevada and remember how fast and quick he was. He eventually won championships in two divisions and was featured on many fight cards. One reason for his being featured was that we saw his career from its beginning to its peak. Future fighters may end up being missed.  Years ago, I observed that boxing promoters should work with Mixed Martial arts and come up with their own network, Combat Sports, just like NFL, Tennis, MLB, NBA, and NHL have.  These channels promote their sports and give us the latest on what is happening in sports. 

Sean Crose added, “what’s going to happen to fighters who demand a fortune before they’ll even consider fighting a legitimate opponent? Will they change their ways, agree to fight at market value, and see if they can bring in the kind of numbers that warrant astronomical fees and pay per view headliners? Or will these fighters continue on with the mindset that using Floyd Mayweather’s business strategy will earn them. Mayweather style fortunes (hint – Mayweather earned enormous sums of money because millions actually wanted to watch his fights)… Lastly, will fighters and their camps decide it’s okay to make bouts with fighters from other camps on a regular basis? Bad as the loss of Showtime is for sport, it means there’s one less political camp to have to please in the current conditions. Premier Boxing Champions, for instance, one of the biggest fighter organizations in the fighting game, is now going to be on the hunt for new broadcasters. If a deal is made where it’s clear PBC fighters will be more easily able to face fighters from outside organizations than it apparently is now, that will be nothing but good for boxing. Of course, other organizations like Top Rank, Golden Boy and Matchroom will have to play by the same rules as PBC if things are to truly improve.”

Sean Crose concluded, “Which leads to the final point – (some) popular fighters, broadcasters, promoters, advisors, and managers will have to simultaneously decide to be reasonable if boxing is to find itself in a better, stronger place. If they don’t, then one of two things will likely occur: Boxing will continue to shrink, or a new breed of savvy, clear-headed fighters will force the business to change. One option would be welcome. The other would provide more of the same.” 

Showtime forgoing boxing is a big blow for a sport that has lost popularity over the past years and even lost ground to Mixed Martial Arts in particular UFC.   How will boxing adopt to this new era and try to grow the sport or will the sport simply implode further to irrelevancy?

One thought on “Showtime Championship Boxing: Saying Good Bye!

  1. I don’t have a strong grasp on how big or successful streaming will or won’t be. I tend to agree that boxing has older fans who prefer television. If that’s the case it may be bad for boxing

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