Showtime Event Television's (SET) decision to cancel a Jan. 19 Mike
Tyson-Ray Mercer pay-per-view fight clears the way for a mega April 2002
Tyson-Lennox Lewis heavyweight championship PPV event.
Tyson notified SET late last Friday that he wanted to concentrate on making a
fight against Lewis - the World Boxing Council and International Boxing
Federation champion - rather than taking an interim against the journeyman
Mercer, an SET spokeswoman said.
SET was hoping
to get the January fight in to help jump-start the boxing side of the
event PPV industry in 2002.
When final 2001 tallies are made, revenue in this arena is expected to see a
sharp decline from the industry's $116 million take from boxing during 2000.
But, HBO PPV, which holds a multi-fight deal with Lewis and has been
negotiating with SET to make the Lewis-Tyson fight, was concerned that a
Tyson-Mercer fight would jeopardize a shot at a very lucrative April PPV payday.
A deal for Tyson-Lewis, however, has yet to be signed.
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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.