UFC on Fox 2: Boxing Would Benefit from Similiar Network TV Deal

Mick Akers@@mickakersAnalyst IJanuary 28, 2012

photo courtesy of boxinitsprime.blogspot.com
photo courtesy of boxinitsprime.blogspot.com

Boxing is sport where the mediocre fights are featured on basic cable channels like ESPN, the bigger fights are on premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime and the biggest fights are of course on pay-per-view, but I feel that boxing could benefit from putting some of the bigger fights on network TV—like the UFC is doing with its Fox deal.

Yes, Dana White's UFC has seen a major popularity boom and boxing has seen a pretty major popularity decline, but featuring near-top-of-the-line fights on network TV could allow boxing to gain some of the followers back in its ring.

In the heyday of the sport, big-time fights were featured on ABC's Wide World of Sports and helped catapult the popularity of boxing through the roof begging in the 1960s and carrying through the early 1990s.

From Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Joe Frazier to Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe, the big-name fighters of generations past have all fought live, on network TV.

Yes, I know it's a different world in TV land now, as cable TV is now the norm, but I feel getting back to the network TV roots will be a great decision for the sport going forward.

Although the major promoters in boxing seem to be dead set on keeping their PPV revenue going, netting new and former viewers alike back into the sport of boxing through network TV and free viewership could help boxing obtain record PPV profits.

If the power people involved with boxing really want to save the sport, taking a serious look at getting some big-name fighters going against each together on network TV could be the sport's saving grace.