by David P. Greisman
The Association of Boxing Commissions has voted in favor of a request to allow the time between rounds to be increased from the standard 60 seconds to up to 67 seconds per round — but only in certain situations.
“With the approval of the member commission … an extension of up to seven seconds will be allowed in addition to the 60 second rest period for boxing matches that are broadcast live,” Tim Lueckenhoff, the ABC’s executive director, told BoxingScene.com via email on Tuesday afternoon.
“The rest period will remain the same, whereby the whistle will sound at 50 seconds, the corner person will have to be out of the ring at 60 seconds, and the referees and boxers will continue boxing upon notification of the producer, who notes that the agreed-upon time is elapsed,” Lueckenhoff said.
The ABC’s decision came as a result from a request from NBC Sports to increase the time between rounds to 67 seconds, allowing the network to air more commercials and increase the amount of money its boxing broadcasts can make, while also still showing highlights from previous rounds.
The request to change the time between rounds came from Jonathan Miller of NBC Sports (which airs the “Fight Night” boxing series) and can be found here.
“NBC has a major concern with the rigid timing between rounds set forth by the boxing commissions in each state,” Miller wrote. “We feel strongly this mandate negatively impacts the quality of television production. The ‘Fight Night’ series will simply not survive without advertising support and allowing us to be storytellers.
“We must run two, 30-second commercial units between each round. The inability to come back from a one-minute commercial break without any additional time to show highlight(s) from the previous round and set up the next round is a disservice to the boxing viewer and most importantly the athletes who are giving their all in the ring.”
Miller asked the ABC to add an extra seven seconds to the break between rounds, for a total of 67 seconds.
“This change will make the sport more broadcast-friendly and substantially increase a boxer’s ability to make a living on a platform other than the pay channels of HBO, Showtime & PPV,” Miller wrote. “The NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL all have adapted to this broadcast friendly model and, with their network partners, customized mutually beneficial television timings.
“This timing change will not negatively impact the integrity of competition but only enhance the content in building stars and elevating the great sport of boxing.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at email@example.com.