Don King Wants to Follow Tyson Into TV

As he gets ready to launch a new series on Animal Planet, look who’s in Mike Tyson’s corner.

Boxing promoter extraordinaire Don King tells Broadcasting & Cable he thinks it’s wonderful that the former champion appears to be making a name for himself in the entertainment world, first with his appearance in the hit comedy The Hangover, and how with Taking on Tyson, which features pigeon racing in Brooklyn. (Tyson talked about the show Thursday at the Television Critics Association.)

“I’m so happy for him because he can get out from under all that ‘who shot John’ and ‘who killed Charlie’ type of bullshit and go on out there and make a living for himself. That would be great,” says King, who promoted fights featuring Tyson that raked in hundreds of millions of dollars.

King is looking to grab a new corner of the TV business himself. He’d like to launch a cable channel built around a library of fights he has accumulated over the years.

“I’ve got a library worth a billion dollars that’s been evaluated by outsiders who have sent their own appraisers in. We are rolling in history and it’s phenomenal,” he said.

King says he’s working feverishly on the channel, but the TV game can be as tough as the fight game. “I need all the help I can get,” he says.

King is not alone in his pursuit of a boxing-steeped channel, as longtime rival Bob Arum is also said to have been pitching around his own fight-centric network, so far to no avail.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.