Dan Rafael is reporting that Bob Arum has closed a deal with Showtime for the premium cable station to broadcast Manny Pacquiao’s May 7th fight against Shane Mosley on pay per view. This will be the first time either fighter has appeared on Showtime, with both having made their name appearing on either HBO or HBO PPV. While at one point Showtime genuinely challenged HBO’s longtime dominance of the premium boxing market thanks to its links with Don King and Mike Tyson in recent years it has been a distant second to a rival that has done record business with stars such as Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao himself.
However over the past year Bob Arum has become increasingly dissatisfied with them, accusing them of showing favoritism to his bitter rival Golden Boy. The final straw is seemingly HBO turning down the chance to broadcast Miguel Cotto’s next fight and forcing Arum to instead line up a deal with Showtime to produce a pay per view headlined by Cotto versus Ricardo Mayorga. Arum would be rightly angry at the seeming double standard of HBO indugling mismatches featuring relatively lowprofile Golden Boy fighters while rejecting a proven ratings draw like Miguel Cotto.
In contrast with HBO woes securing Pacquiao-Mosley continues a recent upswing in fortunes for Showtime which has increasingly been praised for its boxing and mixed martial arts coverage by a media and fanbase that have grown weary of a seemingly erratic HBO.
With Pacquiao-Mosley on Showtime it also opens up the possibility of CBS being involved in the promotion of the fight, with Rafael confirming that CBS has promised to air primetime spots for the fight and that a 24/7 style series may be aired on the major network. This would be a level of exposure far beyond what any other ppv has gotten in recent memory.
Tags: Bob Arum, Boxing, CBS, HBO, Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, Showtime, Top Rank