By Pierre Grimm
Boxing fans were excited to hear the news that Bob Arum was able to strike a deal with Showtime and CBS to cover the Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley fight. Bob Arum believes Manny Pacquiao can reach a new audience with this CBS-Showtime deal and possibly be a bigger star than Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Will the Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight being promoted on CBS make a difference? My answer is NO, it won’t improve pay-per-view buys for the Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight.
Showtime cannot compete with HBO when it comes to putting on first rate boxing events, this is where HBO is the king and why they are considered the heart and soul of boxing because they know how to put on a good production.
The sad reality is the pay-per-view buys won’t do good at all compared to Pacquiao’s previous HBO pay-per-views.
I think the fans need to stop blowing this CBS Arum/Pacquiao deal out of proportion, it’s not going to increase pay-per-view buys. Boxing fans are acting like it will be viewed by over 100 million people just because CBS available to over 100 million households doesn’t mean that 100 million people will tune in to watch the CBS countdown shows for Pacquiao-Mosley.
I would say the ratings for the Pacquiao-Mosley Fight Camp 360 special on CBS will rake in about 500,000 to 1 million viewers. The fight is on Showtime pay-per-view and my early prediction is the fight will do about 600,000 to 750,000 pay per view buys it probably won’t break a million buys. CBS probably won’t even promote the fight much, just show a few commercials a day during the primetime hours.
Let’s not forget that Manny Pacquiao is not an American fighter, his English can be hard to understand because it’s spoken with a heavy accent, and his last name is hard to pronounce, making him a hard sell to the American public. I know how difficult it is for a lot of Americans to relate to Asian culture, they try to avoid things they don’t understand and if they cannot pronounce Manny’s last name “Pacquiao” they probably won’t bother showing any interest in him. When I first started following Manny I had trouble pronouncing his last name as well. Some of the people I’ve talked to about Pacquiao just call him “Pacman” because they can’t pronounce his last name and don’t want to feel embarrassed mispronouncing it. People like to follow someone they can relate too, and the majority of Americans don’t relate to Manny Pacquiao or his third world rags to riches story. Americans are more interested in reality shows like the Kardashian sisters, The Hills, Real Housewives, and The Jersey Shore all of these shows draw high ratings.
This deal could backfire big time on Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao especially if Manny gets knocked out cold by a old Sugar Shane Mosley.
In my opinion, I think this was a wrong move for Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao to leave HBO and go to Showtime because nobody does boxing better than HBO.
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