HBO, ESPN look for a multiplatform KO in boxing coverage

Gabriel Miramar-Garcia | 14-09-2012

HBO Sports is teaming up with ESPN to showcase boxing in North America, in a multi-year marketing and programming deal spanning English-language channels, ESPN Deportes and smartphones, tablets and the Web.

"HBO has a deep commitment to growing the sport of boxing and giving wider publicity to the best fighters and events," said Mark Taffet, senior vice president of football operations and HBO pay-per-view Sports. "This collaboration with ESPN will benefit fans already fascinated with this sport, attract many more fans to connect with boxing and greatly enhance the visibility of the fighters appearing at events on HBO PPV. "
According to Doug Loughrey, director of programming and acquisitions, ESPN is looking to deepen its boxing coverage, giving fans a deeper view of the stars and champions of the sport.
The agreement includes coordinated support between the two networks for major PPV events, including the sharing of programming elements for promotions, highlights packages and other content pieces.
As part of the agreement, the ESPN news platforms and ESPN's flagship SportsCenter show will have access to important content and information about matches being shown on HBO PPV, including interviews with the fighters.
In addition, coverage will extend to ESPN Deportes and ESPN3/, as well as on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members. These outlets will show post-match ceremonies live, and press conferences before and after the fights, along with additional ancillary content.
The first fruit of the partnership is the world championship middleweight fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez, to be broadcast on HBO PPV.