For 37 years, Showtime Championship Boxing has televised some of the biggest fights in the sport, but the network will exit boxing programming at the end of 2023, Showtime’s parent company Paramount Global announced in a statement Tuesday.
“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,” the company 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.”
Al Haymon’s PBC has an exclusive deal with Showtime and has been the main provider of fights on the network since 2013. That included the sport’s top star at the time, Floyd Mayweather.
PBC did not comment on the matter.
The face of boxing is now Canelo Alvarez, who signed a three-fight deal with PBC this summer. He retained his undisputed super middleweight championship last month with a victory over Jermell Charlo on Showtime PPV. The only event on the Showtime Boxing calendar right now is a Nov. 25 fight in Las Vegas between David Benavidez and Demetrius Andrade.
PBC is exploring broadcast deals with Amazon Prime Video and DAZN, which has a partnership with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, sources told ESPN..
It’s been a successful year for PBC and Showtime. In April, Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia met in a super fight. Then in July, PBC and Showtime delivered the long-awaited undisputed welterweight championship fight between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr.
Australian star Tim Tszyu retained his junior middleweight title on Showtime over the weekend as part of the subscription service. There are no other non-PPVs on the calendar.
The last Showtime Championship Boxing, the network’s flagship boxing program, took place in July when Frank Martin defeated Artem Harutyunyan.
The PBC stable is the biggest and most star-studded in boxing. Besides Alvarez, “Tank” Davis, former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, Spence, the Charlo twins, Benavidez and Caleb Plant are all with PBC.
And now, they’re set to fight on a new platform in 2024 and beyond.
Showtime prepares to exit the sport five years after its competitor, HBO, ceased boxing programming after 45 years. When Showtime landed Mayweather in 2013, it was a major coup for the network. Mayweather went on to fight seven times on Showtime PPV, including the 2015 bout with Manny Pacquiao that shattered revenue records (a joint PPV with HBO).
Showtime also landed Mike Tyson in the 90s and televised his pair of fights with Evander Holyfield, including the infamous “Bite Fight” rematch.