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TYSON STILL WITH KING FOR A DAY AS HE ANNOUNCES BOXING DEALS
Published March 31, 1995
In a short statement, MIKE TYSON announced his decision to remain with promoter DON KING, a multi-year agreement with Showtime Networks, and a six-fight, 2 1/2 year contract with MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. A following is a summary of the coverage of yesterday's announcement (Mult., 3/31): BIG DEAL: The package deal with Showtime and MGM Grand could be worth $150M to King and Tyson. His first fight could come in August or September (Gerald Eskenazi, N.Y. TIMES, 3/31). LARRY WOOLF, Chair of the MGM Grand Hotel, from CNBC's "Business Insiders": "Having Mike Tyson fight here for 2 1/2 years 6 fights, is going to be a major boon to Las Vegas, and a major boon to the MGM." Thomas Ulmstead, Senior Editor of MULTICHANNEL NEWS, said Tyson's deal with Showtime, "basically leaves HBO on the sidelines looking in" (CNBC, 3/30). In New York, Bob Raismann calls King's decision to keep Tyson with Showtime without entertaining other offers, "surprising." Raismann: "Sources said Time Warner was prepared to bid $100 million more than Showtime" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/31). Tyson's decision "was a stunning KO for Showtime that left boxing rival HBO climbing slowly off the canvas," according to Steve Zipay of NEWSDAY. It will "immediately boosts Showtime's profile, which had been slipping." HBO execs were "upset, not only because they were not given a chance to bid," but because they felt they had more "resources and experiences to offer." One cable exec: "HBO has more subscribers, but pay per view is where the money is. And (Showtime Event Television) Pay Per View is more powerful in marketing and distribution and exhibiting than TKVO (HBO's PPV arm)" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 3/31). LONG LIVE THE KING: In staying with King, Tyson "shocked many people in the boxing world." King's rivals "underestimated the hold" he has on Tyson. King's presence was "underscored" when "virtually everyone in Muslim garb at the news conference was asked to leave" (Gerald Eskenazi, N.Y. TIMES, 3/31). Wallace Matthews writes rumors of King's dismissal may have been "an orchestrated campaign to dupe the media and rival promoters" (N.Y. POST, 3/31).