Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is planning on producing, distributing, and promoting his own pay-per-view card headlined by Pacquiao-Vargas after HBO opted to pass on the Nov. 5th fight. Arum tells RingTV.com that running the entire show in-house will fundamentally change the existing pay-per-view model.
"Just like most human beings, you go and accept the status quo," Arum said in a phone interview. "And so for years we've had this plan of having HBO distribute and it was convenient. Now, because of their position that we we're too close to the Ward-Kovalev fight (on Nov. 19), we suddenly realized — who the hell needs them?"
Arum will target promotion of the card on major networks such as ABC, CBS, and NBC with footage that spotlights Pacquiao's senatorial work and possibly other story lines, à la HBO's 27/7 series.
"In other words, it's like a ‘24/7' but I think it's going to be much more innovative," he said of the network promos. "We're going to do major pieces that have never been seen before. We're going to take cameras right into the Senate, see them considering bills. I think it's going to be fascinating."
Hell yeah! I don't know about you guys, but nothing gets me more pumped for a fight than a few hours of C-SPAN.
But just to add some additional pizazz to the whole thing, Bob Arum is also looking to enlist what he describes as a star-studded commentary team -- one he believes will rival that of HBO's Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman. Arum declined to specify who will be on the announcing team, but says that he's negotiation with "major names."
Finally Arum says that an additional benefit of producing and distributing the PPV himself is the savings on distribution fees. Arum says that network distributors like HBO charge 7.5 percent for their services and in turn enter into several contracts with in-Demand, DirectTV, and Dish.
"We do those contracts ourselves. In other words, they negotiate them but we do them ourselves, so why would we pay 7 ½ percent to anybody if we can get all of the publicity and the promotion from others by supplying it to networks that have a much bigger audience then say an HBO. Well, people say, ‘Those HBO pieces like ‘24/7' are very good, and they are. But you know who pays for them? I do."
Of course Arum does add that if another distributor happened to come along who wouldn't charge 7.5 percent to carry the fight, he'd be open to changing course -- but he doesn't exactly expect that happen.