Top Rank CEO Bob Arum and many others were shocked when HBO announced that they would not purchase Manny Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas's upcoming fight on November 5th. Even more surprising, Arum advised that Pacquiao contract with HBO has now actually been terminated. Although he did leave the door open for them to do business in the future this will be…
Heavyweight Broadcast Team Recruited For Pacquiao vs Vargas
Heavyweight broadcast team assembled as promoters Top Rank look to change direction from relying on TV networks for distribution of pay per view fights.
Recently HBO decided to not put on Manny Pacquiao’s upcoming fight on November 11th against Jessie Vargas, with some speculating at the time it was down to simple economics and budget restrictions, with the network cable company already airing the upcoming Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight that month already.
Promoters of Pacquiao, Top Rank, have responded by distributing and putting on their own pay per view ahead of the event, a similar model to what the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) in mixed martial arts has been doing for years.
They’ve stacked the card with four world title fights and now they’ve announced a fairly heavy hitting broadcasting crew that will include the likes of Stephen A. Smith and Brian Kenny.
Furthermore, it will also include the renowned Charissa Thompson as well as top level fighter Timothy Bradley.
It’s clear to see that Top Rank are taking things seriously with putting on their own pay per view, not just from the investment in this type of talent for the broadcast team, but also the stacking of the card with so many world title fights and also pricing the event quite modestly with tickets starting from $50.
Bob Arum was quoted this week in an interview with Crystina Poncher as saying he expects the pay per view event to be “better” than what would be normally put on by a TV network.
This move certainly presents interesting times for the sport of boxing, with promoters now having to become more and more like content creators and distributors once again, but if the UFC’s success in doing so in recent years is anything to go by, perhaps it is a wise move, which also could save promoters between 7-10% of revenue on the shows that would normally also be given to a network that can be reinvested into putting on better fights.
Time will tell with the numbers of course.
(Image credit and source: Stephen A. Smith Twitter)