ESPN, ABC will air Premier Boxing Champions fights

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ESPN, ABC will air Premier Boxing Champions fights

Post by kayneoTheRisingWarrior on Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:27 pm

Bob Velin, USA TODAY Sports
ESPN and ABC are joining Al Haymon's boxing party.

The sports network told USA TODAY Sports Tuesday that Premier Boxing Champions, the brainchild of reclusive boxing mogul Haymon, will air a dozen two-hour live boxing shows on ESPN and ABC annually.

The inaugural PBC on ESPN show will air on Saturday, July 11, with a venue and participants to be announced soon, according to Brian Kweder, ESPN's senior director of programming and acquisitions. ABC broadcasts will air on Saturday afternoon, with further details to be announced at a later date.

The new series will replace ESPN's Friday Night Fights, which celebrates its last show on Friday, May 22, with the finals of the Boxcino 2015 tournament.

"We're really excited by the opportunity here," Kweder said. "The fact that Haymon is trying to improve the sport of boxing and make it better is right up our alley."

ESPN and ABC will join NBC and CBS and their affiliates in airing the PBC fights. Kweder said he watched the fight cards that have aired so far, on NBC and Spike TV, and said, "Obviously PBC brings a real big-event deal to the sport that has sort of been missing over the years. It felt like a truly big event on NBC and Spike and we intend to continue that on ESPN."

NBC's initial show on March 7 averaged 3.4 million viewers, the highest number of viewers for boxing in 17 years.

"When I took over the ESPN boxing category a couple years ago," Kweder said, "we looked at the sport of boxing and saw the opportunity that was there with regards to where boxing used to be and where it currently stands in the sporting consciousness.


PBC series may be springboard for boxing

"It was our goal to make bigger and better fights on ESPN. Al Haymon and the Premier Boxing Champions series came along and presented that opportunity to us."

Kweder said ESPN, which has carried boxing since 1980, will keep its boxing broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore and analyst Teddy Atlas.

"We regard Joe and Teddy as the best in the business by far so this was a fairly easy decision to keep them on boxing on ESPN," Kweder said. "If we went out and searched for the perfect play-by-play guy and analyst, Joe and Teddy's names would be at the top of the list."


Analysis: Prime-time network boxing off to strong start

In a few short months, Haymon has transformed the sport, putting live boxing on three of the four major networks and their affiliates. Kweder is not at all concerned about over-saturation of the market.

"The opportunity to elevate boxing in the sporting consciousness is only increased by the number of big-time networks that are covering it," he said. "We're thrilled that so many folks are getting on board with this to elevate the sport."

Live coverage of the fights will also be available through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via an affiliated video provider. The agreement also includes worldwide rights via ESPN International.

ESPN Deportes, ESPN's Spanish-language network, will also televise all PBC on ESPN fights as part of its Noche de Combates series

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Re: ESPN, ABC will air Premier Boxing Champions fights

Post by TeamJohnPerretti on Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:01 pm

I like that they are keeping the current announce team, Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas.

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