How Floyd Mayweather's Mega-Deal with Showtime Affects HBO Boxing
Mayweather is set to fight six times over a 30 month time frame and is said to make the deal the "richest individual athlete deal in all of sports" if all six fights are carried out, according to the press release. The first bout of the six-fight deal will be against Robert Guerrero on May 4.
The home of Mayweather's bouts for the past few years, HBO, has kept ahead of Showtime and its boxing program largely through Mayweather and programming leading up to his fights as well as the fights themselves.
HBO's documentary series, 24/7, gained in popularity following Mayweather leading up to his bouts beginning with Money's bout with Oscar De La Hoya in May of 2007. 24/7 showed Mayweather's outlandish lifestyle and a behind the scenes look at what his relationships with his trainers, friends and family consisted of.
Being able to feature Mayweather's fallout with his father and on-again-off-again trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., was rating gold and got people talking about Mayweather, thus further hyping up his 2011 bout with Victor Ortiz.
A big tool in advertising other big boxing events, HBO will no longer have Mayeather's bouts and the added programming to try and get more attention on the other bouts the channel has to offer.
Showtime will now have a chance to move in on HBO's boxing empire, as they have been kings of the ring for some time now, and landing Mayweather until he will likely retire gives Showtime a huge upper hand going forward.
HBO still has great production and a cast of analyst that include Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman, Roy Jones Jr. and Harold Lederman to name a few, so they still have a top-notch product to offer. Now lacking one of their biggest advantages over Showtime in Mayweather, HBO will have to focus on other ways to promote their bouts besides riding Mayweather’s coattails, which will be aided with their partnership with ESPN that went into effect in 2012.
Although product-wise HBO has been more appealing than Showtime, the loss of Mayweather will be a huge deal to their product and we could see Showtime knock HBO out of its rank of undisputed champion of boxing entertainment in the years to come.
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