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article imageHBO-CBS/Showtime Switch: Is Arum hiding something from Pacquiao?

By Leo Reyes     Jan 29, 2011 in Sports
Boxing fans were stunned upon learning from popular Filipino sportswriter Ronnie Nathanielz, who writes for Philboxing and Philippine Daily Inquirer, among others, on Manny Pacquiao's revelations about Bob Arum's deal with CBS/Showtime.
In his column, Nathanielz wrote: "In an interview with the Inquirer and ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo at his congress office earlier this week, Pacquiao was surprised when asked for his reaction on the move to the larger CBS Network organization which has an audience of some 115 million.
"It took Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz to brief him on the switch and to basically explain the advantages of moving to CBS, which owns Showtime, and would help enhance his image as a crossover star while also giving his wife, Jinkee, a chance to appear on CBS shows.
"Pacquiao's immediate reaction after the briefing by Koncz was "that's good," noting that HBO Sports had a base of only 26 million."
Of course, Manny Pacquiao would react favorably during the interview upon learning from adviser Michael Koncz about the switch and how it will benefit him in particular and boxing in general.
But for not having disclosed the CBS/Showtime deal with Pacquiao beforehand, Arum and Koncz owe it to the public in general and to boxing fans in particular to cite the reasons why Pacquiao was not consulted on the deal.
Everyone knows Pacquiao is a big factor in boosting CBS/Showtime viewership because of his worldwide popularity.
From the report, it appears Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum and adviser Michael Koncz have not talked to Manny Pacquiao about the impending switch from HBO to CBS/Showtime, otherwise Pacquiao would have acknowledged it in the interview with ABS-CBN News reporter Dyan Castillejo.
It was unfortunate Manny Pacquiao would learn about the deal, not from his promoter or adviser, but from a third party who is not part of the HBO-CBS/Showtime arrangement.
There is no doubt Arum's decision to move Top Rank's boxing fights from HBO to CBS/Showtime is indeed good for boxing in general. It is equally good for Top Rank fighters including Pacquiao as they will get more exposure and wider viewership reach.
CBS/Showtime has the larger viewer base of over 100 million compared to HBO's 30 million
Boxing fans have no quarrel over Bob Arum on the timely switch. They in fact praise him for his vision in bringing life to the dying sport of boxing.
However, they believe Pacquiao, who is now a respectable legislator in the Philippines, should have been consulted as a matter of courtesy.
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