If $2.2 Billion Network Showtime Sports Shutting Down Boxing PPV Rumors Are True, It’ll Change the Entire Sport for Better or Worse

Published 10/03/2023, 1:16 PM EDT

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The clouds of uncertainty are looming large on Showtime Boxing. What some believed was a mere rumor a few weeks ago has recently caught fire. Hearsay has it that Paramount will shut down Showtime Sports by the end of 2023. Thus, leaving once the home of boxing in peril. What lies ahead for Showtime Boxing and its head honcho, Stephen Espinoza? Is the boxing world slowly descending into chaos, or will it open doors of opportunity for others?

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Shock gripped the boxing community when Raf broke the news that Showtime would pull the plug on boxing in 2024. While the 2023 cards will remain unaffected, plans are in motion to not renew the deals in 2024. In addition, only the sporadic PPV events will make it to the new platform, therefore, ending Showtime’s connection with boxing after 37 years. Is Showtime following in HBO’s footprints?

Is Showtime Sports Snubbing Boxing PPV?

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If Raf is to be believed, then the unfortunate answer is yes. Luckily for fans, there is no official announcement as of now. However, the reports have turned the heads of rival promotions as they are ready to pounce on the Showtime misery. One of them is UFC CEO Dana White.

Talking to reporters during the Contender Series’ post-event conference, he took a jibe at Showtime Boxing. “F*ck Espinoza and it’s about time that sh*tty product is off the air,” White declared. Maybe it’s the best time to push Zuffa Boxing, which the American has been teasing for years.

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But it appears it’s not the end of the road for Espinoza and Showtime President yet. Hitting back at the doubters, the 53-year-old cleared the air when he sat down with KO Artist Sports. His comments came as a breather for the fans, who speculated a similar end to HBO, which stopped airing boxing in 2018.

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Trashing the rumors that, according to Espinoza, go back to 2018, he specified Showtime Sports was here to stay. His statement read, “It’s the same rumour we’ve been hearing since 2018. It’s usually guys who have a rooting interest against us who are spreading it. You all know who I’m talking about who’s been spreading this. Our response was, ‘We’re just gonna keep making good fights,’ and that’s what we’re doing now.”

Here you have it. Showtime Sports will continue to serve the fans with exciting action from the squared circle. Despite this exposition, nothing is set in stone. Similar clarifications were issued when HBO tried to rebrand itself before completely dropping boxing from its list of services. So where does it leave boxing?

If The Rumors Are True, What Does It Mean For The Sport?

If the worst becomes reality, then the United States will lose the last of its boxing on premium linear cable channels. Al Haymon’s Premiere Boxing Champions, the primary Showtime broadcast partner, will take the hit next, and chances are that the current boxing PPV model might collapse. Contrarily, it also means more fish for other piranhas to devour, especially the DAZN.

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If Showtime walks away from the boxing business, the chances of PBC moving to other outlets become a realistic probability. Likewise, Eddie Hearn strongly believes the PBC might look to DAZN. He told Boxing Social, “If Al Haymon has lost his broadcast [with Showtime], then he’s going to look to replace them. Maybe that’s a conversation with DAZN. I know he’s talking to other outlets as well.”

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The PBC stable offers an exciting lineup for DAZN to expand its business across the Atlantic. The British company can swoop it all if Showtime leaves boxing. But it all hinges on Showtime leaving boxing. Is it really happening? The fans might not have to wait for long to find out.

What do you think of these rumors about Showtime Sports shutting down? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Rohit Lohan

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Rohit Lohan is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports, with a passion for the sport that has spanned over a decade. His fascination with MMA stems from the thrill of knockouts, and he strives to bring that same level of excitement to his writing. Rohit's love for gripping stories is reflected in his articles, where he masterfully weaves together the latest news with compelling narratives.
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Edited by:

Snigdhaa Jaiswal

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