Fox Sports will step into the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor TV ring with unprecedented live pre-fight and post-fight coverage.
Fox Sports’ live coverage surrounding the Aug. 26 mega pay-per-view boxing event will begin Aug. 25 with cable sports network FS1’s telecast of the fighters’ weigh-in event. On fight night, Fox broadcasting will air a pre-fight show at 6 p.m. (ET) followed by live coverage of undercard bouts beginning at 7 p.m., according to the company.
While FS1 has offered live undercard fights leading up to big UFC PPV events, Saturday marks the first time Fox Sports has offered such coverage for a major PPV boxing event.
“There is a direct correlation between the viewership of the prelims of a UFC event and the popularity and sell-rate for a PPV event,” Fox Sports head of business operations David Nathanson told Multichannel News. “This is unique in that traditionally we don’t air prelims to boxing PPV events. The fact that we’re putting it on the broadcast network just showcases how big this event is and how it has captured the attention of sports fans and non-sports fans alike.”
After the event, FS1 will air a live post-fight show recapping the night’s action.
Nathanson said the company’s relationship with the UFC – the company is in the sixth-year of a seven-year TV agreement with the mixed martial arts outfit – as well as its agreement to telecast live Premier Boxing Championship events created an opportunity to provide more in-depth coverage and support of Mayweather-McGregor.
“It was the perfect storm for us,” he said. “We already have a deep relationship with both groups really organizing this event, and that allowed us to put all the power of Fox Sports behind this event to make it as big as possible.”
Nathanson would not predict how many viewers would tune into Fox’s live Mayweather-McGregor undercard coverage, but did say he believes the PPV numbers for the fight could potentially approach the record-setting 2015 Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao PPV bout, which drew 4.5 million PPV buys and more than $450 million in PPV revenue.
“It’s going to be a massive event the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and perhaps larger than any other combat sports event in history,” said Nathanson.