Golden Boy Promotions, Showtime Sports and CBS Sports have entered an agreement to showcase the professional debuts of standout boxers from the 2012 Summer Olympic Games live on the CBS television network on Oct. 14 and Dec. 15, Golden Boy and Showtime announced on Tuesday.
The first date will follow an NFL football game, and the second, an NCAA basketball contest, according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
“The first date, Oct. 14, is going to be following an NFL game on CBS. So an NFL game on CBS is going to be the lead-in for the Olympians who turn pro. It’s going to be right after the NFL game. Probably that will be part of a weekend where we’re going to do something on Oct. 13 on Showtime. We have an eye on some names of some of the fighters, but I’m not going to say who they are,” said Schaefer
“On December 15, the lead-in is going to be a college basketball game. So the fighters are going to be on right after an NCAA basketball game on Saturday, which is always really highly-rated programming. So you have NFL football and NCAA basketball as a lead-in on CBS. A large audience will be watching. It’s in a perfect spot where sports fans are going to be watching television already. So for these young fighters to be on CBS is terrific. We’re looking at wrapping it up, potentially, together to make it one, big boxing weekend.”
The initial live broadcasts will be produced by Showtime Sports. Additional TV dates will follow.
“It is a great pleasure for Golden Boy Promotions to be working with CBS on this exciting network television opportunity for these young athletes,” said Schaefer in the press release. “It is a chance of a lifetime and a guaranteed career jumpstart for some of these fighters to be able to make their professional debuts in front of millions of viewers on the CBS Television network.”
Schaefer will travel to the Olympic Games in London, where he will attend bouts of the boxing tournament that begins on July 28. Schaefer expects to keep a close eye on the 12 men and women representing the United States, one of the largest U.S. boxing delegations at recent Olympic Games.
“It is a dream come true for any Olympic fighter to make his or her pro debut on network television,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Showtime Sports. “I am grateful to my colleagues at CBS who are giving Showtime the opportunity to present the future of the sport to the largest possible audience. It will be an exciting moment for boxing and I am proud to be part of this special presentation.”
Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya, who this year celebrates the 20th anniversary of his gold medal victory at the 1992 Barcelona Games, will be personally involved in the development of the Olympians who sign with his Los Angeles-based company.
“I know from my own experience the pressure these young fighters are under to compete in the Olympics, to represent their country well and to bring home a medal,” said De La Hoya. “Once the celebrating is over and they turn professional, there are certain things that happen during that transition that I feel I can assist them with because I did it myself.”