This has been a long time coming, but SHOWTIME has taken the lead and is now the leader in broadcasting the sport of boxing.
As we look at the beginning of the year, Showtime is already getting off to a great start: Miguel Cotto vs. Ricardo Mayorga, Lucian Bute vs. Brian Magee, and that’s just the beginning. As most know, HBO has dropped the Klitschko brothers from their programming while Showtime welcomes more boxing programming. Showtime picks up one of the biggest moneymaking flights of the year: Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley. Then, looking forward to the summer, the super six picks up again with Andre Ward vs. Arthur Abraham.
In the early 80s, one of HBO’s signatures was boxing, they picked up a lot of loyal customers during that time and I was one of them. One of HBO’s latest downfalls, in my opinion, was the cancellation of their broadcast contract with the heavyweight champion Klitschko brothers. What kind of sense does that make to cancel a broadcast contract with the heavyweight champions of the world? I’m not a broadcast executive, but I have to wonder who made that decision. HBO could have simply broadcast the fights live during the afternoon and I’m sure their American viewing audience would have increased.
Showtime, on the other hand, is moving forward and picking up subscribers and becoming more friendly with boxing promoters creating a good working relationship which, HBO seems to no longer to have. Showtime has the connections with the CBS broadcast network and if they decide to use broadcast television for some boxing programming leading up to their subscription broadcast, both Showtime and their customers will benefit. I now subscribe to Showtime. Great job SHOWTIME for giving boxing fans the programming that we want to see.