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article imagePromoter Bob Arum moves boxing fights from HBO to CBS/Showtime

By Leo Reyes     Jan 26, 2011 in Sports
Bob Arum's recent decision to move Top Rank's boxing fights from HBO to CBS/Showtime is seen by boxing insiders as a good move for boxing after years of limited exposure from regular TV programming.
For almost three decades, boxing has been mostly seen on cable TV with very little exposure on regular TV networks.
Although few details were made on the specifics of his arrangement with CBS/Showtime, it was announced earlier the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight will be shown on CBS/Showtime and not anymore on HBO.
With Bob Arum's partnership with CBS/Showtime, the upcoming Pacquiao-Mosley fight will now have a viewership reach of over 130 million. HBO has reportedly over 30 million subscribers while CBS has over 100 million.
The CBS/Showtime deal is a "shot in the arm" for boxing, a dying sport waiting to be resuscitated.
"It was a bold move, but it was a risk that needed to be done for boxing. CBS would give them a broad marketing leeway and bring boxing back to the limelight. It would open up bigger and exciting fights with more exposure for up-and-coming fighters," sa.com reports.
Bob Arum seems to know exactly the right time for the right deal, and he knows for sure Pacquiao's popularity is enough to lure the CBS/Showtime people to grab the opportunity.
Manny Pacquiao brought back excitement and inserted a different blood into boxing. If there is a time for merger, the time is now.
You can never go wrong with Manny and his humility and all-out fighting style, but the idea is always greeted with a letdown. HBO never really cared about boxing. It’s because they were never threatened, the sa.com report added.
Arum, who considers CBS Corp. president and CEO Les Moonves a friend, said it has not been determined exactly how CBS will be involved.
But similar to what HBO did with its “24/7” series, Showtime is going to produce a four-part series that will follow the fighters on the buildup to the match that it calls Fight Camp 360.
The episodes, Arum said, will air live on CBS first and then on Showtime, except for the final one. That one, which will run through the weigh-in, will be on Showtime live first and then will be repeated on May 7, the day of the fight, on CBS, Yahoo News reports.
There have been reports that the CBS Morning Show would be based in Las Vegas the week of the fight, but Arum said that is premature.
“We’re working with CBS to see which assets will be available, but I have a firm commitment from Les Moonves that he will lend his full support to this project,” Arum said.
Arum said the reason networks seem indifferent with boxing is they don't know how to market it or they think its not salable and have not sold it for so long.
The Hall of Fame promoter believes he is one step closer to revitalizing the sport he loves best
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