Top Rank Inc. has officially tapped pay TV service Showtime to distribute its May 7 pay-per-view fight between Manny Pacquiao and "Sugar" Shane Mosley, the company announced Wednesday.
In addition, Showtime sister broadcast network CBS will televise a primetime special of Showtime's Fight Camp 360° documentary series previewing the PPV event.
The deal marks the first time Showtime will distribute a PPV event featuring Pacquiao, arguably the current pound-for-pound champion of the PPV boxing category. The fighter's last 11 PPV fights have been distributed by HBO, including his Nov. 13 victory fight against Antonio Margarito, which drew 1.15 million PPV buys and generated about $64 million in revenue.
"The arrangement with CBS and Showtime regarding the promotion and distribution of the Pacquiao vs. Mosley championship event represents a new opportunity for the sport of boxing," said Bob Arum, Top Rank CEO in a statement. "It enables boxing to reach millions more people in the United States given the reach of CBS, the most- watched television network in the country. This development will not only benefit Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley, but all of the young men participating in the sport of boxing."
The agreement is the second major PPV boxing event for the Showtime in 2011: Earlier this month the network announced it would distribute the March 12 Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga super welterweight championship fight. "We look forward to combining Showtime Sports' production and distribution expertise with Top Rank's promotional power and the amazing programming and marketing resources available to us across CBS to present the biggest boxing event of 2011," noted Ken Hershman, executive vice president and general manager for Showtime Sports.
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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.