HBO vs. Showtime mailbag

Part One


HBO vs. Showtime mailbag

Two years ago, Showtime Championship Boxing moved to the first Saturday of every month in order to create an "appointment viewing" option for our loyal boxing fans. This move has been embraced by our viewers as evidenced by the significant increase in our ratings.
Chris DeBlasio
Director, Sports Communications
Sports & Event Programming
Showtime Networks Inc.

I subscribe to all premium channel networks and as long as they don't give me a Shannon Briggs Pay Per View, I get all Pay Per Views as well. Boxing is definitely losing support and as an amateur boxer and huge fan of the sport, I think it is important that HBO/Showtime/ESPN/Fox Sports channel not get in the way of each other and set a path to deliver us quality fights on a weekly basis.
Steve Johnstone

HBO and Showtime, you guys are both good networks, the best when it comes to boxing. I subscribe to both of your networks and I am very happy with both. Jones-Tarver is a great fight and so is Toney-Guinn and Byrd-Williamson on the same card. For me there's nothing better than live boxing and I don't get to see that to much and part is because I have two choose between one network or another. Personally i am gonna choose to watch Jones-Tarver because i am a big Roy Jones fan. Usually I would go with the non-pay-per-view because this is only my second pay per view of the year and most likely my last except Corrales-Castillo. I'll still watch Toney & Byrd fights on my dvr but there's nothing like live boxing so just stop your fighting so all boxing fans can be happy. 
Kathi Loppnow

Great article. HBO and Showtime are doing a huge disservice to fans by competing with each other. Showtime has already made it clear that they will show cards the first Saturday every month so HBO is entirely to blame. This is one of the reasons why boxing is dying down. Boxing only has a very limited audience so putting 2 shows on the same night is not doing any good. It is not like the MLB or NBA where they can have multiple teams all playing on the same day. Another thing is boxing fans do not like shelling out alot of money for garbage fights. Barrera-Peden and other crap that HBO has been putting on PPV lately deserve to be regular HBO free. This is why Showtime is kicking HBO butt this year.

You got me so fired up when I read that article. I have been so frustrated for years for this very reason. Why do I have to make a tough decision this weekend? James Toney is my favorite fighter, and normally I would be very excited about watching him fight. I have to make a tough decision and buy the Jones vs Tarver fight because this is one of the most important fights of this era, and I won't get to see Toney fight. Why do they do this to boxing fans? Not only are they hurting us, but they are hurting themselvs as well. If both networks run non-ppv cards which often happens,  they are bleeding ratings from each other, and they aren't maximizing their viewing audience on that given night. This makes no sense whatsoever. Why would either network be happy about winning a ratings war on a given Saturday when even though they won, they didn't get as high ratings as they could have if they ran unopposed. This is not WWF vs. WCW of a decade ago duking it out in a ratings war! This is boxing! Boxing is boxing, and boxing fans do not care which network they are watching their beloved sport on. I'm 25 and I have both HBO and Showtime, and I got most of my friends interested in the sport. I watch every card that both networks show, unless they both have cards that night and I have to make a pointless choice or flip back and forth. As for PPV buying habits, I buy all the big PPVs. I do not buy PPVs where there aren't two world class fighters in the main event. For example I do not buy PPVs like the one last week between Barrera and Peden. That was a great fighter aganist jobber, and not worthy of a buy. God bless you Wyatt, and I hope you can get through to these networks.

Thank you Wyatt. This needed to be said, and you used your pedestal to get it out there. It's absolutely mindless for this shit to keep happening. They both end up losers because obviously people are going to have their personal favorites/preferences when it comes to fighters, so they are just splitting their audiences. It is so damn frustrating to have to choose between watching Roy and Toney, two of my favorite fighters. Toney is definitely my favorite personality. So I'll just have to catch the Shotime2 replay the next day and try (as I often have to do these days) to keep away from boxing news until I can catch that replay. As a side note, I'm STILL vexed because I missed the Cotto/Abdullaev card due to this f-cking competition between networks [Editor's note: McBride-Tyson was on Showtime PPV the same night]; excuse me, did I say competition? I meant Tom Foolery. I buy every PPV card that comes out, save for when HBO tries to pass off some shitful main event and doesn't even have the decency to put together an attractive undercard. I'd have paid for this week's Showtime card before I put one red cent down for the Barrera headlined PPV card the other week. How predictable was that? Where's Don King and his Night of Champions when you need him? That man can put together a serious fight card. One final comment...if these jerk offs don't start spacing out their PPV cards a bit more, they are going to lose A LOT of money. Because of the sheer volume of PPV cards which have actually dropped off in quality a bit (save for the two main events in the next two weeks), people are being forced to choose which is worth the investment. Another reason why the Barrera card went un-purchased by many. Check the numbers on that card HBO. Close to what you expected? Doubtful. Respect Wyatt....I hope HBO and Showtime get the message...
Joshua Gondwe


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