In this video interview caught by our friends at Fight Hub TV, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum talks about why he thinks Showtime doesn’t have a place in boxing and the problem with selling tickets to live fights. Check it out...
Arum on Showtime in boxing:
“Showtime’s ratings were not good because Showtime has no reason to be in boxing. Showtime in an entertainment network. FOX belongs in boxing, ESPN belongs in boxing, DAZN belongs in boxing and selling their service.
“Showtime does not belong in boxing. I mean, they’re wasting the stockholders money by doing boxing matches. They should invest in entertainment because HBO realizes they’re in a dogfight with Disney, with Netflix, and so every dollar that they can conserve to put into entertainment, they need desperately. Showtime has to becoming aware of that fact, but the only way they’re going to survive is with good entertainment, because unfortunately when you do boxing, you open and close the same night.
“If you put the money in a series, you open and you may not close for 10 years. If the series hits, you go into syndication and you more than make back your money.
“(It’s) very hard to sell tickets...We’re in a situation where we don’t have a fuckin’ newspaper that covers the sport...in the UK every newspaper has a full-time boxing writer — every single one. Here (in America) there’s not one newspaper in the entire friggin’ country that has a full-time boxing writer. Not one! So how the fuck do you sell tickets?! You sell tickets by getting people’s attention for a fight that’s a 50/50 fight so that they can gamble on it and come to the arena and root on their bet.”
On television and streaming services providing such good quality viewing that it deters people from going to fights live:
“But it’s always been the case. Let’s be honest about it. Is it better to watch a football game in your home, nice heat, air conditioning depending on time of year, and watching on a beautiful screen with the replay and everything, or being in the stands at the football game? Yet people come to the football game because they have a rooting interest in a particular team or a rooting interest in a bet that they’ve made and they wanna come out to the game.”