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MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: PBC ON PRIME, CANELO-BENAVIDEZ, TEOFIMO-MATIAS, BUD-BOOTS

By Paul Magno | December 14, 2023
MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: PBC ON PRIME, CANELO-BENAVIDEZ, TEOFIMO-MATIAS, BUD-BOOTS

Hello and welcome to another Thursday edition of Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack, the only boxing mailbag column penned by a writer social media-blocked by Boxingscene and Dan Rafael (among many others). This week, we have comments/questions regarding PBC on Prime, Canelo-Benavidez, Teofimo-Matias, and Crawford-Ennis.

PBC on Prime is a BIG Deal

The typical suspects are always going to hate on anything PBC related. This Amazon deal is huge. Screw them though, they're going to tune in to watch Canelo, Crawford, Benavidez, Tank, and many more.  When they click “buy” their blood pressure will rise. It's a sad way to live.

Let’s look at the numbers. There's 167 million Amazon Prime subscribers in the USA.  The average American household has 2.3 people. So Amazon Prime is practically available to all Americans. That type of audience reach in modern boxing is unheard-of. That's going back to the 70's when CBS broadcasted fights. Now granted, the big fights will be on PPV. But the audience for the prospects, contenders, and eliminator fights will be accessible.  

Furthermore, how many subscribers does DAZN have? We've yet to receive any statistical data. ESPN has 75 million subscribers through cable and ESPN+ has 25 million subscribers. It's still peanuts compared to Amazon Prime.  

That's just stateside in America. I haven't even touched the global reach amazon has. But I do know they boast 4 million subscribers in Australia, 13 million in the UK, 8 million in Canada. They've already broadcasted Canelo fights in Mexico. We can go on and on about the numbers. The fact is that this is the largest global reach that any boxing broadcaster has had in the history of the sport.  The Amazon deal is a big FkN deal for boxing.

What do you think PBC has to do to capitalize on Amazon Prime’s market reach? How successful can this deal be? Is it better for boxing that any of the current or previous paywalls?

– Na'-il Rahman

Hey Na'-il.

This Amazon Prime deal is a potentially huge, sport-changing milestone. As I mentioned in this week’s Notes from the Boxing Underground, there are about 167 million Prime subscribers in the US alone, which comes out to almost one subscription for every two Americans. In terms of households, 76.6 million of 123.6 million households in the country have at least one Prime subscription. That comes out to nearly 62% of all American households being tied to the service. So, this deal, literally, brings boxing one flick of the finger away for more than half of the nation. Now, of course, only a fraction of those subscribers will be interested in boxing or even curious enough to check it out. And, obviously, PBC will have to provide the kind of quality content and promotion needed to pique the interest of fans and the casual-curious. But the potential is huge. As it stands now, once the Prime deal kicks in, boxing will be more accessible to the mainstream than it’s ever been. Even under a worst case scenario, PBC will still be operating on a significantly bigger platform with a greater up side than it was while on Showtime. 

At this point in time, it could be argued that this deal is actually better than getting boxing back on free network TV. I’m not a fan of paywalls, but people just don’t have the same viewing habits they once did and if the sport wants to update for the times and reach the younger audience, streaming is where it’s at. I fully supported and applauded the DAZN streaming platform when they first popped up, but their business model was perpetually out of whack and they were never able to make things work. Hopefully, PBC will do better.

For PBC to take full advantage of the Prime possibilities-- and, yeah, this, unlike any other boxing network deal out there, has the potential for exponential growth into the mainstream world-- they have to be strong on promotion. They have to do a good job of selling the fighters to the public and making people care about who they are and what they’re setting out to accomplish via their fights. Boxing fans tune in for the fights, casual fans (who provide the greatest sales/ratings boost and make the difference between a decent-selling event and a blockbuster) tune in for the fighter(s). PBC has to create the kind of buzz and outreach that grabs the attention of someone just flipping through Prime Video to find something to watch. Boxers are uniquely captivating from a human interest standpoint, but boxing companies rarely do any more than sell those boxers and their stories to the same die-hard fans who watch most everything, anyway, and are already looking to buy into the product. The PBC on Prime deal opens up the possibility of reaching new fans and recapturing old fans unlike any other TV/broadcasting deal currently in play.

Boxing fans should be universally applauding this great opportunity for the sport. But, as we’ve all been seeing, that’s not the case in certain pockets of fandom. For some fans, their prejudices and personal biases trump their self-professed love for the game.

Canelo-Benavidez, Matias-Teofimo, Bud-Boots 

I hope you’re doing well and enjoying the festivities of Christmas with your family and loved ones.

I would like to hear your thoughts on the possible fight between Canelo vs Benavidez? I see it as a 50/50 fight and lean towards Canelo purely on experience and his body punches as David is suspect to those shots, but then again David is a pressure fighter and is difficult to stop when he is coming forward. So it remains an interesting fight. Hopefully we get to see it in May or September next year.

Also, how do you see Matias vs Teo Lopez going? As much as I like Matias, I think he gets hit too much by a counter puncher like Teo. Also, Matias has clobbering blows that can hurt Teo.

Also, how do you see Boots vs Bud? I have Bud.

– Sakhiwo Johannes

Hey Sakhiwo, 

I think a Benavidez fight, at this stage of Canelo’s career, would be a tough one, both in terms of style and just from the sheer difficulty. Benavidez’s length and pressure would pretty much force Canelo into a firefight at some point and, honestly, I don’t know if he has the juice to go a full twelve under attack from a big, strong, young guy like that. There’s no way around it, Alvarez would have to engage and earn Benavidez’s respect before being able to box and showcase his ring IQ and improved skill set. I don’t know. A year or two ago I’d have favored Canelo. Now, I’d go with Benavidez. Maybe even via late rounds stoppage. Hopefully the fight happens.

Teofimo-Matias, IMO, would be a rough, tight contest until the middle rounds. Lopez is too skilled and Matias, as you mentioned, gets hit too much. I see Teofimo making adjustments mid-fight and taking Matias out late.

I have Bud Crawford over anyone at 147 or 154 (and maybe even 160). Boots is a tremendous talent, but Crawford is just too complete of a fighter and he’d find a way to win.

Got a question (or hate mail) for Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack? The best of the best gets included in the weekly mailbag segment right here at FightHype. Send your stuff here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com.

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