HBO, Showtime plot record PPV

Friday saw arch-rivals Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (along with Showtime and HBO) announce plans for what will likely become the biggest PPV boxing event of all time, with the bout slated for May 2 in Las Vegas. Combining their resources, both HBO and Showtime will contribute to the production and marketing of the event, with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum telling 8CountNews that the host will be CBS’ James Brown, with Jim Lampley calling blow-by-blow, Showtime’s Al Bernstein offering color, Roy Jones serving as the boxing expert and Showtime’s Jim Grey and HBO’s Max Kellerman reporting from the locker room. No word yet on plans for HBO’s traditional 24/7 franchise or Showtime’s All-Access platform. “The Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis joint pay-per-view fight was a great roadmap for this fight,” said HBO Sports President Ken Hershman in a call with reporters. “It showed that this can be done successfully. There’s a lot of mechanics that go into this when two networks are working together, and those mechanics carry forward in terms of how things operate behind the scenes.” “One of the main reasons why this deal got done, as opposed to deals in the past, was because Leslie Moonves [President and CEO, CBS Corporation] was a part of the process,” said Stephen Espinoza, EVP and General Manager of Showtime Sports. “He was deeply committed to making this deal and was someone that all parties in this negotiation really respect. He was really the catalyst for seeing this through and refused to take no for an answer from any side.”

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