TVKO Seeks New De La Hoya Deal
TVKO is negotiating a new multifight deal with Oscar De La
Hoya, beginning with his Sept. 13 fight against Felix Trinidad.
The current four-fight deal with the "Golden Boy"
expired in February with the De La Hoya-Ike Quartey bout.
Executives at TVKO, Home Box Office's pay-per-view arm,
said they hope to have a new fight deal in place -- covering De La Hoya at least through
the year 2000 -- prior to the proposed September welterweight-unification bout.
The previous multifight deal -- with a rate card based on
the level of De La Hoya's opponent -- covered the fighter's last six PPV bouts.
"It is appropriate to discuss a new multifight
agreement. We're interested in making a commitment with the industry for De La Hoya,"
TVKO senior vice president Mark Taffet said. "In return, we're interested in getting
a commitment from the industry for what we believe is its No. 1 franchise."
Viewer's Choice senior vice president of programming
Michael Klein said the network is "in discussions" with TVKO for a new De La
Hoya deal. "We're certainly willing to talk about a multifight deal if it works for
all parties involved," he added.
Meanwhile, TVKO is already putting its marketing plan
together for the De La Hoya-Trinidad bout, which will retail at a suggested price of
De La Hoya holds the World Boxing Council welterweight
championship, while Trinidad holds the International Boxing Federation welterweight belt.
The two fighters are scheduled to make stops this week at
the National Show in Chicago (June 14), as well as in New York, Miami, Dallas, Houston,
Mexico, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Puerto Rico.
TVKO also said it has "significant" interest from
several major sponsors for the event, but it would not reveal specifics.
"We haven't had this type of event -- where two
fighters in their prime are facing each other -- in a long while," Taffet said.
"Our marketing efforts will be unprecedented for a nonheavyweight fight."
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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.
By Kent Gibbons