By Steve Kim
So what are Bob Arum's thoughts on HBO's decision to no longer televise boxing after 45 years?
''I've been saying for awhile that the contribution that the premium networks, particularly HBO, made to the sport of boxing were tremendous," said Arum, the CEO of Top Rank, on Thursday morning as the news broke.
For years, Top Rank was the main content provider to the network with boxers that included the likes of Marvin Hagler, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao.
Arum continued - "They came in, they used boxing to help build subscribers, particularly with the contract I signed with them with Hagler. But that had the negative effect of driving out the other networks because premium networks could spend more money because they got monthly fees from subscribers. But it became obvious as the premium networks grew that they had no need for boxing. That they weren't sports networks."
Top Rank in 2017 made the decision to take their content to ESPN, where they signed an exclusive deal that now runs till 2025. They believed HBO's main focus now was on such entities as 'Game of Thrones' and other original programming to compete with Netflix.
"They were entertainment networks or as (HBO Sports Vice President Peter) Nelson says, 'story telling networks' - and economically to use the money that they were spending for boxing made no sense when they could put it into developing pilots and documentaries that had much greater financial impact on the company," said Arum.
"But that being said, anybody who has been in boxing as long as I have, has to be grateful to HBO for the support that they gave the sport for so many years."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.