Well, looks like the future has been determined after all. After nearly 40 years, boxing no longer has a home on Showtime, as multiple outlets report that Showtime Sports will shut down by the end of 2023.
Paramount Global released the following statement, per Sports Business Journal:
“As we evolve our strategy to more efficiently allocate resources and align our content offering across the business, we’ve made the difficult decision not to move forward with boxing and other content produced by the Showtime sports team. Showtime will continue to air and support the remaining 2023 boxing slate and honor obligations through the end of the year.”
Stephen Espinoza released a statement as well:
“The company’s decision is not a reflection of the work we have done in recent years, nor of our long and proud history. ... Unfortunately, in a rapidly evolving media marketplace, the company has had to make difficult choices allocating resources, resetting priorities and reshaping its content offering. While today’s news is certainly difficult and disappointing, it is entirely out of our control.”
Per ESPN, longtime Showtime partner PBC is in talks with Amazon Prime and DAZN. The only scheduled card at the moment is the November 25th David Benavidez vs Demetrius Andrade PPV. There are rumblings of a December 9th PPV featuring Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, and a Floyd Mayweather Jr exhibition, but nothing concrete has emerged. A previously planned November 4th show collapsed two weeks ago.
Happy endings are few and far between in any aspect of boxing, and this is no exception. Showtime Sports is older than I am and hosted some of the greatest fights boxing has ever seen. To see it go out in a sputter of buzzwords is deflating, to say the least.