I love HBO’s production of a fight. They are the crème de la crème of boxing production. From their 24/7 features to their World Championship Boxing, Boxing After Dark, and PPV cards. All are done to the hilt, with a slight few exceptions of course. I mean no one is perfect after all.
All that being said, HBO has done little to expand on the boxing fan base. I’ve heard of possible deals before for boxing to return to broadcast television for years and they have all fallen flat. This seems to me to fly in the face of trying to re-establish your entire sport to a public that has, for the most part, disregarded boxing.
That is why I think this possible pairing of Showtime/CBS and the Manny Pacquiao – Shane Mosley fight is beyond exciting news. The reason it is so exciting to be is because a network station, CBS, is being brought into the fold. The magnitude that this can positively affect boxing is enormous.
If done right. Oh, and if the fight is actually entertaining. People who have no vested interest in boxing need to be engaged. They need to feel like they are emotionally involved in the people involved.
This is where network giant CBS comes in. Per ESPN.com;
According to sources, part of the deal will include CBS promoting the fight by running commercial spots advertising the pay-per-view during prime time programming. Also in the works is a series of preview shows that would run on CBS, or possibly Showtime, which would be similar to HBO’s hit reality series “24/7,” which it uses to stoke interest with weekly episodes during the month leading up to major pay-per-view fights. Pacquiao and Mosley have both had fights featured on “24/7.”
I cannot state enough how huge it would be for CBS to be involved with this fight. The fight itself will have a moderate to large PPV viewership (think 1-1.3 million viewers), but with CBS promoting the fight in the form of advertisements during their primetime programs and, hopefully, a short series in the light of HBO’s 24/7 shows, that could jump the PPV viewership up dramatically (think 1.5-2 million viewers).
This is exciting for longtime fans of boxing, such as myself. If done right, this could be a shot in the arm that semi-dead sport of boxing sorely needs.