Epix follows HBO, Showtime’s footsteps by airing boxing

Epix makes its initial foray into the boxing business on Saturday with heavyweight beltholder Vitali Klitschko’s title defense against Odlanier Solis.

Klitschko-Solis, which takes place in Cologne, Germany, will air live on Epix at 6 p.m. ET and its website (EpixHD.com). The one-year-old premium cable network will replay the heavyweight bout later Saturday night.

Mark Greenberg, president of Epix, hopes boxing will help the network attract subscribers the way the sport did for potential rivals HBO and Showtime in the 1980s and 1990s.

“We’re really thrilled to be able to put this fight on this weekend,” Greenberg said in a recent conference call with boxing media. “The heavyweights have always drawn the casual sports fans, and for Epix, that only launched 15 months ago, this became a great opportunity to explore the boxing world.”

Greenberg, a former HBO marketing executive who spent many years with Showtime when the network’s sports programming was led by Mike Tyson, believes Epix and boxing could have an on-going mutually beneficial relationship.

“We think we have an opportunity to help breath some life into sports, especially boxing and mixed martial arts,” Greenberg said. “We’ll see how this fight does for us. It’s been a great promotional device to get the Epix brand out.”

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