DID TCI'S MALONE PLAY A ROLE IN MOVING TYSON FIGHT TO FOX?
Published September 20, 1995
In the current issue of VARIETY, J. Max Robins floats a reason for why Viacom, owner of Showtime, would allow Don King to move the November 4 Tyson-Mathis fight from PPV to Fox, and it involves TCI Chair John Malone. TCI, in a partnership with Fox parent News Corp., owns Request TV, the U.S.'s largest PPV distributor which had the rights to Bowe-Holyfield, scheduled for the same November 4 date. Robins writes, "So Request TV is off the hook on what could have been a losing proposition. Viacom brass knew Malone wanted the Tyson-Fox deal to happen. Moreover TCI has a deal pending to buy Viacom's cable systems for $2.25 billion, in addition to a raft of other unfinished business the companies have to complete." One "industry insider": "Viacom wants to make nice with Malone these days and he wanted the fight to go to Fox. It was worth it (to Viacom) to take the financial hit to make other things it has going with Malone work" (VARIETY, 9/18-24 issue). "WAR ON THE FLOOR": TV SPORTSFILE's Barry Gould predicts the Shaquille O'Neal/Hakeem Olajuwon PPV event on September 30 will draw between 150,000-200,000 buys, up from 50,000 for a '92 Kareem-Dr. J event (USA TODAY, 9/20).