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Fadetwist
Bob Arum wants to make boxing more visible

December 5, 2008
Reporting from Las Vegas -- Boxing has quietly undertaken a pilot program that, in the face of competition from mixed martial arts, may serve as a business model for its future.

Promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank said recently that a series of events working well in Mexico may be the key to his sport's future. That future is bringing boxing back onto network television rather than relying on cable and pay-per-view to grow the audience.


"I see something that gives me hope," Arum said.

On Jan. 27, 2007, for its show from the Honda Center in Anaheim -- one that featured popular Mexican fighter Jorge Arce, as well as rising American star Kelly Pavlik -- Arum and fellow Top Rank executive Fernando Beltran gave the fight broadcast signal free to Mexican Azteca television.

The ratings turned out to be surprisingly good.

"We thought boxing was pretty much dead down there, ever since Julio Cesar Chavez stopped," Arum said. "We were surprised."

That led to stop No. 2 in the experiment, a Sept. 16, 2007 show at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. That also featured Arce, as well as Mexican entertainment stars.

It was Mexican Independence Day, and the boxing was going head to head on Azteca with one of Televisa's ultra-popular Telenovelas, or soap operas.

"We didn't beat them, and we didn't expect to," Arum said. "But we got something like 40% of the audience."

That convinced Arum, and others in boxing, that there might be a future in getting back to the days of network telecasts of the likes of the Pabst Blue Ribbon fight of the week and the Gillette Friday night fights. The success in Mexico triggered regular shows on Azteca, called "Latin Fury," that have continued to bring good ratings.

"Some days, we beat soccer in Mexico," Arum said.

The economics of that, of course, are tricky. Networks long ago stopped paying rights fees for boxing shows. But networks are open to having boxing purchase that time, and Arum thinks that is do-able, by marketing the package to sponsors to cover costs.

He sees this as a way to get boxing in front of millions of additional people, those who either don't have cable or don't buy pay-per-view fights.

He used the heavyweight division, once the backbone of the sport, as his example.

"When kids are growing up now, they see basketball and football, and that's what excites them," he said. "If they saw as much boxing, more of them would try it.

"Think of LeBron James, going against those Ukrainian guys [the heavyweight champion Klitschko brothers, Wladimir and Vitali]. What a show that would be.

"That's what we have to get back to."

Here is the link http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-arum5-...,1016197.column

Any thoughts?
Spyder
It's too expensive of an experiment to have enough sustainable exposure to be effective in attracting the audience that Bob is trying to target.

JonnyBlaze
L. James would get KTFO by a Klitchko..hahahahaha..It'd still be cool to see how L. James would do in boxing though..
Maxy
Is boxing shown on non pay TV in America? I mean, like prospects, up and comers, fighters with potential?

Basically over here a lot of fighters build their fan base by boxing on prime time free to air television and then when they reach the top they switch to either Setanta, which is a subscription channel or Sky, which charges PPV for fights like Hatton vs anyone.

Naz, Eubank, Benn, and many others all had the majority of their fights on free TV. Carl Froch-Jean Pascal was on free TV. It definitely builds a bigger fanbase and can only be good for boxing.

I just don't have a clue how things work in America.
JonnyBlaze
Actually what promoters should do is get guys from different sports and match them up in boxing matches..Train em and have em fight..Teddy Atlas trains football players and I really bet he'd like to see em in a actual match..It'd be kinda like the celebrity boxing thing but with strictly athletes..

My first trainer I had trained O. Kreutz of the Chicago Bears and a couple months later he punched someone on the Bears I think and broke his jaw..You can find a article of it on www.pugsboxinggym.com..Remember this though,this guy fucking sucked as a trainer but was good to the guys everyone knew like Obed Sullivan and O. Kreutz..It's hard to trust a very fat trainer to be very good..Obed only trained with him like for 2 weeks then left..I got to meet him a couple times too..I'd be hitting the mitts with that trainer and he'd just stare at Obed if he was in the gym..It was gay as hell so I left and found an amazing trainer..
Spyder
Maxy, we have two major premium networks that show boxing...HBO and Showtime. Those two show the majority of the big fights anf PPV's.

There are a couple of basic cable networks ESPN and Versus that show some second tier fights, come back fights, or up-and-comers.

The hispanic channels like Univision, Telemundo, and Gala show fights pretty regularly...but none of the major broadcast networks show boxing...NONE.
King Eugene
I wish they would, it would give me more to look forward to on the weekends.
kidbazooka1
They need to bring back Tuesday Night fights with Al Albert and Sean O'grady on USA.
JLUVBABY
versus is showing some good fights.. what the promoters need to do tho is get boxing back on nbc, cbs, abc and fox... and make these fighters understand that if they want the exposure and the bigger money later they need to take the short money now on one of the reg. t.v channels... when i was a kid there was always a fight saturday afternoon or even some sundays on abc wide world of sports or nbc and cbs.. michael carbajal won his first championship against munchai kitakasem on nbc... those guys probably didnt make top dollar because the networks are not gonna ante up the big money until the promoters show them it can be profitable but if the promoters would keep the sport in mind there will always be a budget at those networks if the fights make scence... and i'm not saying the fights have to be ppv or even showtime and hbo quality but they can be good solid fights... example of fights that where shown on reg. tv back in the 90's are tony tubbs vs. riddick bowe mark breland vs. aaron davis, razor ruddock vs bone crusher smith... and the list goes on... all those i just mentioned where descent fights and all where better than some of the stuff hbo or showtime or even ppv has served to us recently... versus is doing it and i'm sure their backing is not as big as the 4 major broadcasting stations here in the states... boxing can be profitable on the local channels but the promoters got greedy and wanted the bigger money i think was the big problem... local tv boxing is what the guys in the barbershop or at the pub and etc. (or the little poor kids that once fueled the sport that all they see is football and basketball now) will talk about the next week and that is what will get the blood pumping in the sport again... just my opinion but till that happens boxing will continue to be stagnent here in the states.. boxing is not dead nor is it diing... boxing is a huge sport everywhere except here in the states... i noticed in the u.k and europe they have tournaments... notthe huge names but they match their up and comers and make good fights.. the guy that got the shot at harrison and won was a tournament winner... 3 fights in one night... and that tournament wasnt on ppv over there either from what i understand... the sport isnt diing here the promoters are killing it...
Jack 1000
I have been preaching the idea of getting boxing back on free TV for years. I think Arum is in the right.

Not sure about the statement below:

QUOTE
Actually what promoters should do is get guys from different sports and match them up in boxing matches..Train em and have em fight..


Not only would this be very gimmicky, but also dangerous to the combatant's health. Years ago Wide World of Sports had Joe Frazier in some sort of swimming competition. The idea was to have athletes compete in something OTHER than the sport that made them famous. No joke, Frazier almost drowned that afternoon and the networks scrapped the idea.

Arum has a great point. There are not enough positive role models out there in boxers today to make kids want to follow the sport. There are a lot of fighters with low-life, loser personalities that talk shit and do little in the ring. Boxing needs to rise above the "gutter mentality." Bring boxing back to the mainstream public prime-time with great fights. The Verses Network just gave us an instant action classic, comparable to some of boxing's greatest bouts with the Cruiserweight Championship fight between Adamek and Cunningham! This shows that boxing does not have to land on HBO, Showtime, or PPV to be successful.

Get guys that are naturally inclined to brawl and showcase tapes of fights like Adamek-Cunningham on broadcast television for people who don't have cable, or who can't afford cable or PPV. If bangers like Adamek, Haye, Arrelola, among other brawlers, could land free TV fight contracts with a show similar to HBO's 24/7, only on free TV to build up there exposure to the American public, boxing could go back to its illustrious past. Too many up and coming boxers are just jumping right on the HBO/Showtime band-wagon, which, especially in the case of HBO, is often used as a driving force, a stepping stone for a PPV.

The problem is every time a fighter goes to Premium Cable and than PPV, there is this whole audience of general public commercial TV people who never get to see these great fighters and fights. It used to be that world title fights were on commercial networks, and closed-circuit caliber matches that were MAJOR fights were on HBO and Showtime. Only huge colossal superfights were PPV, and PPV was the exception rather than the rule.

Today there is almost no quality boxing on free TV. Instead of classic wars like Adamek-Cunningham being offered occasionally, commercial networks should find some brawlers who like to mix it up and put them in with other brawlers who like to mix it up on free TV. No gimmicks or mismatches like The Contender. Create quality two-sided matches that at least on paper show skilled matchmaking. Do to commercial network boxing, what Lou Dibella did for the original Boxing After Dark with those types of fights brought back to commercial broadcast TV.

Than classic matches like Adamek-Cunningham will become more commonly recognizable to the general public. Such a model can work under the right promoters, management teams, and a network who can make it happen. I am happy that Bob Arum is interested in this idea.

Jack
JLUVBABY
QUOTE(Jack 1000 @ Dec 13 2008, 12:53 AM) [snapback]416152[/snapback]
I have been preaching the idea of getting boxing back on free TV for years. I think Arum is in the right.

Not sure about the statement below:
Not only would this be very gimmicky, but also dangerous to the combatant's health. Years ago Wide World of Sports had Joe Frazier in some sort of swimming competition. The idea was to have athletes compete in something OTHER than the sport that made them famous. No joke, Frazier almost drowned that afternoon and the networks scrapped the idea.

Arum has a great point. There are not enough positive role models out there in boxers today to make kids want to follow the sport. There are a lot of fighters with low-life, loser personalities that talk shit and do little in the ring. Boxing needs to rise above the "gutter mentality." Bring boxing back to the mainstream public prime-time with great fights. The Verses Network just gave us an instant action classic, comparable to some of boxing's greatest bouts with the Cruiserweight Championship fight between Adamek and Cunningham! This shows that boxing does not have to land on HBO, Showtime, or PPV to be successful.

Get guys that are naturally inclined to brawl and showcase tapes of fights like Adamek-Cunningham on broadcast television for people who don't have cable, or who can't afford cable or PPV. If bangers like Adamek, Haye, Arrelola, among other brawlers, could land free TV fight contracts with a show similar to HBO's 24/7, only on free TV to build up there exposure to the American public, boxing could go back to its illustrious past. Too many up and coming boxers are just jumping right on the HBO/Showtime band-wagon, which, especially in the case of HBO, is often used as a driving force, a stepping stone for a PPV.

The problem is every time a fighter goes to Premium Cable and than PPV, there is this whole audience of general public commercial TV people who never get to see these great fighters and fights. It used to be that world title fights were on commercial networks, and closed-circuit caliber matches that were MAJOR fights were on HBO and Showtime. Only huge colossal superfights were PPV, and PPV was the exception rather than the rule.

Today there is almost no quality boxing on free TV. Instead of classic wars like Adamek-Cunningham being offered occasionally, commercial networks should find some brawlers who like to mix it up and put them in with other brawlers who like to mix it up on free TV. No gimmicks or mismatches like The Contender. Create quality two-sided matches that at least on paper show skilled matchmaking. Do to commercial network boxing, what Lou Dibella did for the original Boxing After Dark with those types of fights brought back to commercial broadcast TV.

Than classic matches like Adamek-Cunningham will become more commonly recognizable to the general public. Such a model can work under the right promoters, management teams, and a network who can make it happen. I am happy that Bob Arum is interested in this idea.

Jack


i'm with you jack.. you can take these football or basketball players an train them but they more chance than none wont be world class.. boxing is not a sport that you just pick up.... look at michael grant for good example of that... the great fighters or good fighters even started when they where kids or young teens... also regarding your comment of arums its one thing for him to talk about it lets hope he actually tries to do it... hopefully if he does he can make some nice t.v fighters and others promoters will follow... we can only hope...lol
thisneverworks
QUOTE(Jack 1000 @ Dec 13 2008, 01:53 AM) [snapback]416152[/snapback]
Not only would this be very gimmicky, but also dangerous to the combatant's health. Years ago Wide World of Sports had Joe Frazier in some sort of swimming competition. The idea was to have athletes compete in something OTHER than the sport that made them famous. No joke, Frazier almost drowned that afternoon and the networks scrapped the idea.

BrutalBodyShots
LOL @ Frazier.

D-MARV
LOL... Way to fit the stereotype Joe!!!
JLUVBABY
QUOTE(damarvelous1 @ Dec 13 2008, 11:15 AM) [snapback]416194[/snapback]
LOL... Way to fit the stereotype Joe!!!


thats no lie marv...lol.. i was embarrased for him..lol
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