Lem Satterfield

‘Spectacular’ HBO deal trumps Showtime for Pacquiao

RingTV.com has been apprised of the details of the HBO Pay-Per-View deal that lured Top Rank’s Bob Arum and company President Todd duBoef to choose that network over rival Showtime for the third meeting between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez on Nov. 12 in Las Vegas.

Details include HBO’s 24/7 series being broadcast on CNN and “on free cable, which is still to be decided, but we have that commitment,” said Arum.

Both Pacquiao and Arum will be interviewed on CNN internationally as well as on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight,” said Arum.

In addition, Pacquiao-Marquez III will be promoted during the Major League Baseball playoffs and the NBA season on TBS and TNT, respectively, the latter, assuming that the NBA’s lockout ends.

Finally, HBO will televise the entire fight week lead up, the final news conference and the weigh-in.

“By far, this was not an easy decision to make. It took a lot. It was very, very tough to make the decision because¬† both networks, they came with great deals. But we just thought that the HBO deal was better and had more of an upside for us,” said Arum.

“I thought that the guys at HBO who were taking the lead in this thing [co-presidents Michael Lombardo and Richard Plepler] were really motivated to really do a tremendous number on this fight. They were very impressive. But then, I thought that the Showtime people were also very impressive. I just think that this deal is the best deal that we could come up with for the fighters.”

HBO issued a statement from one of its spokesman.

“We’re thrilled that Manny Pacquiao’s Nov. 12 fight with Juan Manuel Marquez will be presented by HBO Pay-Per-View,” said the spokesman. “We look forward to working with Top Rank on this special event.”

In May, Pacquiao decisioned Shane Mosley in defense of his WBO welterweight belt on Showtime Pay Per View, the first time that either fighter had appeared on the rival network.

By early Friday afternoon, it was revealed that HBO had won back Pacquiao, this, after an ecstatic duBoef broke the news on his Twitter account.

“After reviewing spectacular offers from [HBO/Time Warner] and [Showtime/CBS,] congrats to [HBO/Time Warner]¬† for securing distribution for Nov 12,” wrote duBoef, who is Arum’s stepson.

“We’re interested in increasing the viewership for the sport of boxing, and we feel that we did that by going with Showtime/CBS the last time, and we’re doing it now with all of the Time Warner platforms,” said Arum.

“We think that that’s performing a great service to the sport of boxing. That’s what we intended to do, and I think that other promoters, in addition to ourselves, for years to come are going to benefit from what Todd and I have been doing with Manny Pacquiao’s fights.”

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