In another sign of cost-cutting, Univision Communication’s TeleFutura network this month confirmed it will cancel Sólo Boxeo, its Friday night live boxing series that launched in 2000 and went on to become one of the network’s most popular shows.
A company spokesperson told Hispanic TV Update that Sólo Boxeo will continue to air in its normal time period through Dec. 19, 2008. After then, the Friday 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. ET/PT time period will feature a movie from TeleFutura’s library of Hollywood hits.
The series had been sponsored since 2007 by Tecate, after which it was renamed Sólo Boxeo Tecate. Now the beer brand is looking for other outlets to continue supporting the sport, which is very popular among Latinos.
“Sólo Boxeo was a very valuable property for our brand,” said Carlos Boughton, brand director for Tecate. “Losing this property is going to have serious implications but we are not abandoning our support to the sport.”
To be sure, Tecate remains the title sponsor of the upcoming fight between Oscar de la Hoya and Manny Pacquiao, scheduled for Dec. 6 in Las Vegas, and the company will continue to sponsor the show until its last run.
The show’s cancellation also deals a blow for promotional companies Golden Boy Promotions, Top Rank and Don Chargin Productions, which were paid a fee for the roughly 48 dates they put out each year.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer expressed his disappointment by the TeleFutura decision of canceling the show, although his company is already looking for alternatives.
“We recognize it is a difficult economic environment; but putting the chin down and give in is not our style,” said Schaefer. “There are ways to be creative and if you have the most iconic names in boxing like we do, there are obviously going to be ways to come up with something.”
Schaefer is said to be in negotiations with several Hispanic and anglo outlets, although he declined to give details.