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‘The future hasn’t been determined yet’: Stephen Espinoza discusses Showtime’s uncertain future in boxing

Showtime Executive Stephen Espinoza pumps the brakes on the rumors of the network reducing its presence in boxing, saying recent reports have not been accurate.

Stephen Espinoza says there’s still ongoing discussions about Showtime’s future commitment to boxing programming.
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Fight Hub TV just recently caught up with Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza who touches on a number of subjects, including the ongoing negotiations for the Crawford vs Spence rematch (forget about it happening this year). In the meanwhile, however, he responds to all of the talk about the rumors of Showtime reducing its boxing programming following their merger with Paramount.

“I’m smiling because everyone’s got an inside source,” Espinoza said. “Everyone’s an expert, everybody has a source who’s telling them exactly what’s going on — none of which is accurate. Now, look, there’s a budget process and there’s things to be discussed, and there’s a media business that’s a lot of transformation, and there’s a Paramount corporation that is under financial pressures like all media companies nowadays.

“So, all of that has to be discussed. But all this stuff ‘Tank’s going on this PPV platform, Tank’s fighting Thurman...’ I’ve yet to read anything that was accurate in terms of what’s actually going on internally, in terms of the conversations and the criteria that are being discussed and what kind of elements. So, the reality is the future hasn’t been determined yet. I think it will be shortly, but until someone tells us different we’re going to continue doing what we’ve been doing.

“Because at the end of the day, as much as Showtime Sports has a strong brand, and I think a lot of people respect what we’ve done, what people care about at home, what the fans care about is watching the best fights. They don’t care about the executives like me, they don’t really care about the networks, they’re just saying ‘get me the best fights.’ So until somebody tells us differently, we’re going to continue delivering the best fights in the sport like this one here (Benavidez vs Andrade).”

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