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HBO Still Bullish on Alvarez-Golovkin’s Chances

HBO is not worried about the Aug. 26 Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight undercutting what it hopes will be a blockbuster on Saturday, Sept. 16, featuring middleweight champions Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.

HBO pay-per-view vice president Tony Walker told Multichannel News that Mayweather-McGregor was more of an event, whereas Alvarez-Golovkin should appeal more to traditional boxing fans. HBO even hopes to piggyback on the Mayweather-McGregor hype, having marketed its event during the run-up to that Aug. 26 bout, in which boxer Mayweather defeated mixed-martial-arts specialist McGregor.

“There’s some distance between the two fights,” Walker said. “I fully expect a lot of people who purchased [Mayweather- McGregor] to come back and buy [Alvarez- Golovkin] on Sept. 16.”

In addition to the hard-core boxing crowd, more Hispanic viewers are expected to buy the HBO fight, due to Alvarez’s popularity among those viewers. Walker said the Aug. 26 premiere of HBO’s 24/7 Canelo-Golovkin preview show drew an impressive 350,000 viewers despite going directly up against the Mayweather-McGregor PPV event.

HBO will run promotional spots for the fight during high-profile sports events like National Football League, Major League Baseball and college football games.

Walker would not project how many PPV buys HBO expects to generate from Alvarez-Golovkin, but said he thinks it could surpass Alvarez’s best PPV performance. Alvarez’s May 6 fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. generated 1 million buys, according to fight promoter Golden Boy Promotions.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.