Written by: Shawn Cross
“It’s a very common change in the industry,” says Stephen Espinosa, president of Showtime Sports. combat center In an interview published Thursday. “This is just a reinforcement of what’s happening across the industry.” Spinoza talks here about his network’s merger with Paramount+. News of the merger has some wondering if boxing will not air on Showtime, much as boxing programming on HBOs was frozen several years ago. Espinosa made it clear that nothing is changing for Showtime Boxing… at least for now.
“There is no change in the short term,” he says. Where it goes in the long run, who knows? It’s a tough economy out there. But right now, the company is definitely committed to sports, committed to sports only after 2023, and I haven’t heard anything change that.” The truth, of course, is that boxing — in the US at least — has been on the decline in popularity for some time now.
“Low viewership is a problem,” Espinoza admits in the interview. “It is. There is no network in the company that will continue to stick to something with such low viewership.” However, Espinosa points out that the scenario is more complex than it might seem at first glance. “What are the metrics for making that decision,” he says, “something much more complicated than just looking at the Nielsen ratings and saying 250,000 people watched this or saying hey, we only got 200,000 people watching the Tank pay-per-view replay. It’s a pay-per-view.” Remodeling. We didn’t pay for it to begin with. This is not an investment of resources.”
Times are undoubtedly changing. In fact, Espinosa notes that April’s super fight between Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia will be marketed in a social media-oriented fashion (which Davis and Garcia both excel at). “I think this is more of a social media promotion,” he says. “We don’t have to do a multi-city press tour to create content… This will be our first boxing social media promotion.”
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