In Demand Brokers PPV-Fight Dispute


Showtime and Home Box Office will offer separate pay-per-view boxing matches
Oct. 4, but with different start times to avoid cannibalizing each other's
potential PPV buys, according to PPV-distribution company In Demand.

Showtime’s PPV arm, SET, will run its Evander Holyfield-James Toney
heavyweight-elimination fight from 8 p.m. to midnight. At midnight, HBO PPV and
boxing promoter Top Rank Inc. will begin airing its Hispanic-targeted PPV-fight
card featuring featherweight champion Erik Morales.

The two companies had been feuding over who had rights to the date, and
neither party was willing to move to a different date. In Demand -- which will
distribute both events to a majority of cable MSOs -- stepped in earlier this
week and negotiated the compromise of different start times.

SET’s event will retail at $44.95, while HBO will charge a suggested price of
$34.95. It's unlikely that consumers will receive a discount price for
purchasing both events, executives said.

"We tried very hard to get all of the parties to work together," In Demand
senior vice president of programming and development Dan York said. "In the end,
since they weren’t able to come to a resolution, we proposed doing what we felt
was in the best interest of our affiliates and our fans."

To help boost PPV buys for each event, York said, In Demand will run several
PPV replays of both fights throughout the week.