Promoter Bob Arum wouldn’t give a projected figure but he believes his association with CBS could help generate huge pay-per-view numbers for the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight on May 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao is training in the Phillipines but is due back in the U.S. soon, which will allow him to contribute to the promotion.
The fight will be televised on Showtime, which is owned by CBS Corporation.
“The date I would like Manny to come to the U.S. is April 2,” Arum told reporters in the Philippines. “Not that he can’t get good training (in the Philippines) but I can really use him. We have an opportunity like we’ve never had before. … CBS is doing so much on the promotion. We gotta give them material; we gotta get Manny in L.A.
“He’ll do his training and so on but at night I can use him on this show and that show, and CBS can take advantage of that.”
He went on: “They give us programming with this 360 Fight Camp that we never had before. HBO gave us four half hours (for 24/7). CBS has a half hour and an hour and another half hour. And in addition, Showtime has three half hours. And it’s all different (material). That to me is something special.”
Arum went on to explain to the Filipino writers how CBS is different from Showtime and HBO, with a little primer on the NCAA basketball tournament.
“You have to understand television in the United States,” he said. “HBO has 28 milllion homes. You have to pay special for that. Showtime has 21 million homes. You have to pay to see Showtime. CBS has 115 million homes and people pay nothing. It’s free over-the-air television. … People that can’t afford HBO and Showtime have the opportunity to see Manny Pacquiao. … It’ll be old ladies, who don’t have any interest in sports, who are going to be shown Pacquiao, shown Mosley. It’s going to create a tremendous amount of interest. That’s something we never had before.”
“… If everything works … we could do numbers never seen before on pay-per-view. It could really do something incredible. I’m not saying we will because I don’t know, but it could.”
He went on: “March Madness, which ends with the Final Four and National Championship, every one of the games on CBS does a promo for the fight. That’s incredible. Every game has over 10 million people watching it. Then the night of the Final Four, when you have two semifinals on Saturday night, they’re doing a half-hour special on the fight. Twenty million people will be watching. For HBO’s 24/7, if we had 750,000 watching, it was a lot, it was good. And Showtime also is relatively small. Twenty million! God knows what we’ll do on pay-per-view. This is (Pacquiao’s) opportunity to seize the moment and make more money than ever dreamed possible.”
Arum also was asked who Pacquiao might face if he beats Mosley. He said one candidate is the clear leader in the Pacquiao sweepstakes: Juan Manuel Marquez, who drew and lost to Pacquiao in close fights.
The fight would probably take place in November.
“Andre Berto? He has no exposure,” Arum said. “Even if he beats (Victor) Ortiz, so what. It comes back to Marquez, really. A draw and a close loss to Manny. That seems to me the most-attractive fight. I didn’t want to do (Marquez) before Mosley. Again, we are reaching out to a vast audience on CBS, so I needed an English-speaking opponent. Now, if we do the numbers we think and even if we go back to CBS, we can still do OK with a Spanish(-speaking) opponent. Unless something else develops, that’s who I’m looking at.”
Marquez has been under contract with Golden Boy Promotions.