After 37 years broadcasting some of the best bouts boxing had to offer, Showtime will close its doors on the sport at the end of this year.
It has been a stellar 2023 in terms of match-ups for the US channel, kicking off with Gervonta Davis versus Ryan Garcia followed by Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr’s undisputed welterweight grudge match.
The announcement – made by parent company Paramount Global – leaves the channel with just two events left before it bows out. David Benavidez-Demetrius Andrade on November 25, and an as-yet-unannounced card on December 9.
In its statement, the company said boxing was not part of its future strategy.
“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.
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.”
Promotional partner, PBC – the stars of which include Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez – is now in the market for a new broadcaster.
Upon hearing the news, many fighters made their feelings clear on changing landscape of their sport.
“I’m saying this now! Just like I said a couple years back about Showtime Boxing ending. Knowing you old heads will keep the same system going. I give our beloved sport no more than 7-10 years left before NOT ONE NETWORK WILL WANT TO CONTRIBUTE WITH OUR SPORT. WE NEED CHANGE!”
“Today is a really important day for boxing. HBO and Showtime defined our sport for a generation and now they are both out. All us boxers need to make this our collective fight. We gotta be thinking about marketing, new audiences, investors, global, all of it. Boxing is still the greatest sport in the world. We just gotta reimagine it.”
“I couldn’t agree more Ryan Garcia. The system we have isn’t going to fix this. We gotta think different. Look at every other sport is building empires by doing it right. Us fighters need to come together. We can fight in the ring but work together for our sport and our families.”
Oscar De La Hoya
“I salute Showtime for their near-40 year commitment to the sport that I love. I am hopeful that we promoters can use this unfortunate situation to put our differences aside and start working together more often to help make more of the bigger fights and grow our sport.”
Around 40 staff members are set to lose their jobs due to the decision.
Showtime’s demise in the sport of boxing comes 45 years after HBO’s exit. The two broadcasters collaborated on the most successful pay-per-view event in the sport’s history – Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao.