By Tan Wang
I guess this CBS/Showtime deal that Bob Arum and a lot of the boxing world was excited about isn’t living up to what people expected.
There has been very little promotion of this fight on CBS, the ratings for the first episode of Fight Camp 360: Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley were very low, especially given the time it aired on Saturday morning, who watches TV on Saturday morning besides kids who watch cartoons?
That was a poor decision to air episode one that early in the morning. The best way to take advantage of the over 100 million viewers on CBS is to air it in the evening or on prime time, not early morning hours on a Saturday.
It takes at least 4 weeks to build up a fight, they showed the first episode of Fight Camp 360: Pacquiao vs. Mosley at 9 am in the morning pacific time on a Saturday, many people sleep until noon on Saturdays because it’s their time to relax after a long week of working a 9 to 5 job.
The worst part is after the CBS premiere of Fight Camp 360: Pacquiao vs. Mosley we would have to wait 20 days for the second episode of Fight Camp 360 and that will be aired on Showtime not CBS.
So how is CBS going to reach a new audience and increase pay-per-view buys with this type of lack of promotion?
You need to keep people interested in the fight from episode one or else it’s useless. If they are going to promote it only one week before a fight it’s not enough time to gain new fans or to capture interest. People will not order a fight if they have no clue who the hell Manny Pacquiao or Shane Mosley is.
How do they expect people to be captured and intrigued with horrible time slots and lack of promotion?
This is why I think it would have been best for Bob Arum to stick with HBO Boxing instead of jumping ship to CBS/Showtime. HBO would have worked out an agreement if Bob Arum asked to get some countdown shows on HBO’s sister Time Warner stations TBS or TNT. If he asked to have Pacquiao and Mosley on the Conan or George Lopez talk shows, I bet that could have been worked out. Arum could have requested they build up the fight during the NBA Playoffs and having Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley interviewed during the NBA playoffs on TNT would gain major interest. Charles Barkley, who is a huge boxing fan could discuss the fight and promote it during the halftime breaks of basketball playoff games, that would help get people interested and curious.
I’ve said it before, I don’t think this Pacquiao vs. Mosley pay-per-view will do a million ppv buys. It might even fall lower than than the 700,000 buys for Pacquiao vs. Clottey. I wouldn’t be shocked if it only does 400-500,000 ppv buys with the current lack of promotion and the fight only a 18 days away.
HBO is the heart and soul of boxing, and even a horrible match-up like Joshua Clottey with little promotion and no HBO 24/7 managed to do 700,000 ppv buys. People have been bashing HBO lately, but what will the HBO bashers say about CBS/Showtime if the Pacquiao-Mosley fight doesn’t do big numbers?
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