"Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN" is what it’s being dubbed. Golden Boy Promotions new series on ESPN (which will technically air on ESPN2) will take place about twice a month and feature 18 cards this year (on either Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays) as well as 24 more cards next year. ESPN also retains an option to continue to series into 2019.
"We are excited to announce this new agreement with Golden Boy Promotions, one of the world's top promoters," said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president of programming and scheduling. "ESPN and ESPN Deportes look forward to featuring a new series of exciting world-class matches, along with a deep and wide variety of studio and digital content, in this multi-year, exclusive, live fight package."
The first card will take place on March 23rd at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, CA, with the fights yet to be named. Golden Boy will produce this new series which will rely on sponsorships from companies like Tecate rather than licensing fees from the broadcast network itself.
It is expected that many of Golden Boy’s propsects will be featured on this series until they are ready to make the jump to premium cable networks like HBO.
"The reach that ESPN has is by far bigger than any other sports network or premium cable channel out there," De La Hoya said. "So this is a big opportunity for the Golden Boy brand and our fighters. They will be tested in their fights on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. We are really excited about the exposure our fighters will have with this new series.”
Not only will this new partnership feature live fights, but will also include Golden Boy Media and Entertainment content on several platforms. That would include Golden Boy’s fight library, a 30-minute interview show with fighters, a half-hour series on fighter training, "The Ring TV Express" (a 3 minute highlight of fights), and a Oscar De La Hoya hosted podcast.
All in all this is a big power play from Golden Boy as the company has struggled in recent years to rebound from the mass exodus which followed Richard Schaefer’s departure for the company.