HBO Sets Knockout Cards For Boxing Events In 2012


Newly minted HBO Sports president Ken
Hershman didn’t waste any time cementing HBO’s commitment
to boxing in 2012.

Since his installment in January,
the former Showtime Sports
head has put together a strong
lineup of fights over the next
four months, headlined by mega
pay-per-view cards headlined by
marquee PPV draws Floyd Mayweather
and Manny Pacquiao.

Overall, the network is scheduled
to air seven championship
boxing cards featuring such
champions as Sergio Martinez,
Erik Morales, Bernard Hopkins
and Amir Kahn.

“The schedule is spectacular
— we’re really pleased the way it
turned out, and hopefully it will
lead to an even stronger second
half of the year based on how the
fights turn out,” Hershman told
Multichannel News last week during
a press conference in New
York promoting the May 5 Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto
PPV fight.

On the PPV front, HBO recently secured distribution
rights to both the Mayweather-Cotto and June 9
Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr. fight over other potential
distributors, such as rival Showtime.

Mayweather and Pacquiao have been the biggest PPV
boxing draws over the past few years, with both fighters
averaging nearly 1 million PPV buys every time they
step into the ring.

Mayweather’s Sept. 17 PPV bout against Victor
Ortiz was one of the biggest events of 2011,
generating more than 1.25 million PPV buys and
$78 million in PPV revenue.

“We think that this fits perfectly with the
strategy that building here and they are great
events to have,” he said. “They are exciting fights
to have, so we’re happy to secure them.”

HBO will heavily promote both fights via
other cable assets of parent Time Warner Inc.,
including potential re-airings of its 24/7 documentary
boxing series on CNN, as well as after
select TNT National Basketball Association
playoff telecasts, TBS Major League Baseball
games and coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball
Tournament on truTV.

“Thankfully all of the Time Warner assets are
being employed for both fights at different times
and different ways,” Hershman said. “We’re very
excited about the synergies being brought to
bear for both events, and we think that it will
really help drive buys.”


‘World Championship Boxing’ telecasts:

March 17, New York: Sergio Martinez vs. Matthew Macklin; Edwin Rodriguez vs. Donovan George

March 24, Houston: Erik Morales vs. Danny Garcia; James Kirkland vs. Carlos Molina

April 14, Las Vegas: Brandon Rios vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa

April 28, Atlantic City, N.J.: Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson II; Seth Mitchell vs. Chazz Witherspoon
May 19, Las Vegas: Lamont Peterson vs. Amir
Khan II

Pay-per-view telecasts:

May 5, Las Vegas: Floyd Mayweather (pictured)
vs. Miguel Cotto; Canelo Alverez vs. Shane Mosley

June 9, Las Vegas: Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy