Espinoza: Showtime Not Going Anywhere; Spending More $$$ In 2019

By Keith Idec

Stephen Espinoza recognizes the value in the increasing competition for broadcasting boxing.

The more exposure the sport gets from other networks and streaming services, the better it ultimately will be for Showtime’s viewership. Espinoza, Showtime’s president for sports and event programming, believes this to be particularly true of Premier Boxing Champions’ new deal with FOX, which is available in nearly 120 million households in the United States.

Al Haymon’s PBC and FOX announced a partnership September 5 through which the broadcast network will air 10 cards per year, as well as 12 PBC shows per year on FS1, its basic cable channel, and multiple FOX pay-per-view cards. Six days earlier, Showtime announced its own new three-year deal with PBC, which will include 12 “Showtime Championship Boxing” cards per year.


The first PBC/FOX show as part of that new agreement will take place on an undetermined December date. Showtime, which has aired PBC events since PBC’s launch early in 2015, will begin its new monthly PBC series sometime in January.

“As much as we love the sport of boxing,” Espinoza said, “there is no realistic way that we could service everything that we would wanna do. For the health of the sport, the sport needs multiple networks. And the addition of a network outlet supporting boxing is a great thing for everyone who’s invested in the sport. Does it mean that occasionally we’ll be jealous if FOX gets a great fight? Sure, a little bit.

“At the same time, that’s an important part of building new fans for the sport. And given the stars that we have on Showtime, we are confident that wherever the new fans come from, ultimately they’ll be showing up to watch Showtime because that’s where the current generation of stars and the future generations are gonna be.”

By the time it airs a “ShoBox: The New Generation” card Friday night from Temecula, California, Showtime will have televised 22 cards through its “Showtime Championship Boxing” and “ShoBox” series within the first nine months of this year. Promoter Bob Arum, whose company has an exclusive content partnership with ESPN, recently suggested Showtime, like HBO, will stop broadcasting boxing in the not-too-distant future (

Espinoza explained that Arum’s assessment couldn’t be further from the truth.

Showtime will invest even more resources into its boxing brand in 2019, not less money. Showtime is owned by CBS, which also owns

“As a general comment, I don’t think [Arum] understands our business as well as he thinks he does,” Espinoza said. “Boxing is an important and valuable part of Showtime’s business. Our subscribers respond positively to it and it definitely drives business for us. We’ve been in this sport for over 30 years and, arguably, the last few years have been the strongest period in that entire history. We’ve spent more on boxing this year than we have in the past several years. And next year, we’ll be doing even more. So the reality is regardless of whatever his perceptions are or his assumptions about the business are, we are committed to the sport of boxing. We’re not going anywhere. We’re as excited and positive about the future of the sport as we’ve ever been. It is an important part of our business.

“I think it’s great that more networks are waking up and realizing what a great sport boxing is, and that other networks and platforms are getting into a sport that we’ve been in for 30 years. It’s a positive thing for the sport. But from the Showtime perspective, we have been the industry leader in terms of the quality of the fights, in terms of the amount of fights and in terms of building the next generation of stars. And that’s not gonna change going forward. We intend to be the industry leader for a long time to come.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by gbonafide on 09-25-2018

[QUOTE=Manlikefemi;19138540]Your falling for the Bob Arum Opinion. Espinoza has stated that is not how Showtime measure if Boxing has been good for them. You don’t know how Showtime’s Buisness works nor do i. They wouldn’t be increasing the budget if…

Comment by sicko on 09-25-2018

Great News for boxing! Would love to hear that type of commitment from Peter Nelson and HBO!

Comment by b00g13man on 09-25-2018

[QUOTE=T.M.T;19135971]You call Jack vs Stevenson Porter vs Garcia broner vs Vargas Spence vs ocampo Santa Cruz vs mares Lara vs zHurd Joshua vs Parker wilder vs Ortiz garcia vs riots Spence vs Peterson garcia vs Lipinets a terrible year ?…

Comment by Manlikefemi on 09-25-2018

[QUOTE=gbonafide;19138197]It’s still about ratings and subscribers. People at the top are going to look at how much they paid out for the Garcia Porter fight and look at the ratings return and say WTF? Despite their poor boxing programming over…

Comment by gbonafide on 09-25-2018

[QUOTE=Manlikefemi;19137764]Not really, if Espinoza can prove Boxing is driving Showtime in the right direction in profitability, it makes no sense to quit after all the money they’ve pumped in. Espinoza has said Boxing has helped Showtime’s overall buisness goals. So…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (57)
Top Headlines Photos: Braekhus, Shields, Estrada Get Wins on Final HBO Card Fury To Wilder: You'll Need More Than a Million Judges To Rob Me Brook Warns Khan: Don't Come Crawling To Me After Crawford Dogboe: I Just Couldn't Get The Victory, The Best Man Won Michel Soro Has No Problems in Stopping Greg Vendetti Lomachenko-Pedraza Rating Looking Big For ESPN Hearn: WBC Has NOT Ordered Rematch, Wilder Can Face Joshua Dirrell Motivated, 'Ready For Challenge' of Yildirim Title Fight Shields Training Charlo, Ajagba, Apochi For Barclays Card Photos: Navarrete Stuns, Punishes Dogboe For WBO Title Wilder-Fury Rematch Talks To Begin Next Week, Says Warren Photos: Lomachenko Drops, Decisions Pedraza To Unify Belts Photos: Kell Brook Looks Flat in Decision Win Over Zerafa Photos: Carroll, Frenois Ends in Draw - No Mandatory For Farmer Teofimo Lopez: Im 2019, I Will Be Champion - I Guarantee It! Brook: I Want To Shut Khan Up, Then Move On To Spence, Porter Rene Alvarado Beats Carlos Morales, Targets Machado Shot Euro News: Spike O'Sullivan, Oliver Meng, Jordy Weiss, More Video: Andre Ward Talks Loma, Spence-Garcia, Pacquiao, More Filip Hrgovic Decisions Kevin Johnson Over Eight Rounds Lomachenko Wants More Belts, Hopes For Mikey Garcia in 2019 Mchunu Gets Revenge on Oosthuizen, Mbenge Stops Vazquez Pat Manuel, Transgender Boxer, Makes History With Win Lomachenko vs. Pedraza - CompuBox Punch Stats Cecilia Braekhus Retains Titles, Lopsided Decision over Lopes Lomachenko Drops Pedraza Twice, Wins Decision To Unify Titles Juan Francisco Estrada Breaks Down, Stops Mendez in Seven Lomachenko vs. Pedraza - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Claressa Shields Easily Boxes Past Hermans, Hammer Up Next Emanuel Navarrete Shocks Isaac Dogboe, Captures WBO Title Dogboe vs. Navarrete - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Teofimo Lopez Destroys Mason Menard - One Punch in One Besputin Drops Abreu Twice, Wins 10-Round Unanimous Decision Dogboe vs. Navarrete - CompuBox Historical Review Lomachenko: Getting Dropped Was Me Not Being Focused HBO Tripleheader - LIVE Results From Carson, California Lopez: Everyone Says I'm Overrated; I Haven't Shown Anything Yet Lomachenko-Pedraza Undercard Results From Theater at MSG Kell Brook Goes The Distance, Beats Zerafa in WBA Eliminator Kell Brook vs. Michael Zerafa - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard

Latest Active Forum Threads