By Brian Webber: PBC’s boss Al Haymon has had talks with bringing his huge stable of top-level fighters over Amazon Prime as a part of a new broadcasting deal now that Showtime is expected not to renew the contract after it expires.
As Chris Mannix points out, it” unclear at this point if Amazon Prime will be looking to be a “Showtime-like boxing provider” or if this is just a one-off event. Amazon has the money to afford boxing, as they’re already paying huge amounts of dough for their broadcasting of NFL fights.
It’s important that PBC goes to a provider that isn’t already occupied by another promotional company for boxing.
For example, DAZN has Golden Boy Promotions & Matchroom. ESPN uses Top Rank to provide boxing. It wouldn’t be a good situation for PBC to go to either of those companies, given that they would be in constant competition for dates.
PBC in talks with Amazon Prime
Is Amazon Prime doable for PBC?
“I do know that PBC has talked to Amazon. I do believe that’s their preferred destination. They prefer to do a deal with Amazon,” said Chris Mannix on his podcast, talking about a possible destination for Premier Boxing Champions.
“My take on Amazon. If they do want to get into boxing, don’t do an exclusive deal with anybody. I think exclusive deals have been a major problem in boxing over the years because it has shrunk the pool for available fights and available shows.
“If you’re Amazon, the boxing budget for Amazon is nothing, but let’s say hypothetically they’re going to throw 200 million dollars a year into boxing. That’s nothing. They pay billions for Thursday night football to the NFL.
“If they say they have 200 million dollars a year on boxing, hire somebody to oversee that and say, ‘Look, you’re a promoter, and you want to do fights on our streaming service, pitch the fight. Don’t give me bad fights just because we have to provide you with 10, 12, 14 fights.’ That doesn’t work. It’s proven it doesn’t work.
“I think Amazon has an opportunity because they can afford to throw a couple of millions at boxing and do some good things, do some big things. I’d love to see them try something new because they’re one of the few entities out there with the budget to do that. We’ll see what Amazon does in the future. I think they’re a player to watch in all of this.”
Can Amazon replace Showtime for boxing?
“I don’t know what Amazon is looking to do, to become a Showtime-like boxing provider, or are they looking for a one-off show? I don’t know the answer to that question. There has been dialogue between Amazon & PBC officials,” said Mannix.
“It’s kind of depressing. People that celebrate Showtime’s exit are [blank]. Showtime has done a great job for 25+ years at broadcasting boxing. Any type of provider like that goes out, it’s not good for boxing.
“It’s depressing that boxing can’t seem to work on American television. It can seem to find a sustainable, functioning, thriving model, and that’s bizarre to me because I know they’re different entities, but sports broadcasting is gold right now, ” Mannix continued.
“The NBA is going to collect millions. The NFL just collected. The NHL, when their contract is up, is going to collect billions. In the meantime, with boxing over the last five years, HBO has gone out, Showtime has gone out, and FOX has gone out.
DAZN is still in it, but they’re raising prices and is certainly trying to make as much money as they can on subscribers at this point. ESPN, we’ll see what ESPN does in a couple of years when they have to pay all this money for NBA rights and UFC rights.
“I keep hearing that boxing is in a good place with events this year. That may be true, but if it was in a great place, you would have networks and streaming services dying to get in business. But the fractured nature of it’s not good, it’s not a good landscape right now for boxing because you don’t have providers eager to get in business with the sport, and I think that’s a problem.”