By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
More than 30 years of experience covering TV technology.
Showtime will cease broadcasting boxing matches at the end of the year after nearly four decades of covering the sport, Paramount said in a statement yesterday. The news, which comes five years after HBO eliminated its boxing division, leaves the sports reeling on the ropes. The two premium channels once invested heavily in boxing and were high-profile showcases for young fighters. But now they will both be gone. Paramount is also cutting the entire Showtime Sports unit which is responsible for several Emmy-winning documentaries. However, it will keep its current sports and boxing schedule until year’s end.
“As we evolve our strategy to more efficiently allocate resources and align our content offering across the business, we’ve made the difficult decision not to move forward with boxing and other content produced by the Showtime sports team,” Paramount said. “Showtime will continue to air and support the remaining 2023 boxing slate and honor obligations through the end of the year. We want to express our deepest gratitude to our employees who have contributed to this award-winning sports programming over multiple decades.”
Showtime could also stop coverage of MMA fights although that has not been confirmed as of this morning.
The premium channel, which has been airing boxing matches since 1986, has been home to some of the sport’s best fights, particularly in the lower weight divisions. But Paramount recently moved Showtime’s streaming service to Paramount+ and the company is emphasizing entertainment programming for Showtime.
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— Phillip Swann