After Top Rank was basically forced to put on his own PPV show for Manny Pacquiao's upcoming fight against Jessie Vargas, they had to round up a team for their broadcast. To that end Top Rank has enlisted Brian Kenny and Stephen A. Smith from ESPN and Timothy Bradley Jr. to serve as their live analysts. Meanwhile, Charissa Thompson (co-host of "Fox NFL Kickoff") will serve as the host of the PPV.
"We wanted to give the viewers a different perspective that informs and entertains and I think we have accomplished that with this fantastic team," Top Rank president Todd duBoef said. "It's a great combination with Brian, one of television's top TV announcers, color commentary from Stephen A. and Charissa's balanced hosting style. The expert analysis from Tim will round this out perfectly as he is considered one of the best fighters in the world and has secured victories against both Pacquiao and Vargas."
Bob Arum says that as soon as it became clear that HBO wouldn't carry this fight for Top Rank, they knew it was an opportunity to put on their own show which he believes they have the brain and manpower to pull off. He also, of course, sees it as a opportunity to save a 7.5% fee from HBO. Arum also suggests that with no tape delay being aired on HBO in the week following the fight, more people may be inclined to make the purchase knowing that they can't watch it for free later.
I'm not so sure how much of an incentive that will turn out to be, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.