Published August 25, 2009
|Mayweather (l), Marquez Fight Will Be Shown
In HD In At Least 170 Theaters Across Country
The September 19 Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez fight will be "shown live on movie theater screens" across the country, as "at least 170 theaters in 78 major markets will be showing the fight" for a suggested admission price of $15, according to Michael Rosenthal of RINGTV.com. The fight will be shown in HD, which is "apparently a first for boxing." Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer: "I really think the younger audience, the fans that go to a theater on Saturday night, they don't want to stay at home. I think this is going to open up the sport of boxing to a new and younger audience." Golden Boy is partnering for the effort with NCM Fathom, which "brings a variety of unusual events to movie screens." Thirty-second previews of the fight "will be shown before the start of movies at 1,500 screens as part of a comprehensive marketing plan." The fight also will be available on HBO PPV (RINGTV.com, 8/24
). NCM Fathom VP Dan Diamond said that if the event "is a success, there could be additional megafights shown in theaters." HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg "believes that the promotion ... will outweigh any potential loss in pay-per-view sales" (AP, 8/24
). Meanwhile, FIRST CUTS' Dave Larzelere noted ticket sales for the fight "have been sluggish and the matchup has yet to generate much of a crossover buzz in the media," so it is "hard to say how this push onto the big screen will help the situation" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 8/24
HEAD-TO-HEAD BATTLE: In Philadelphia, Bernard Fernandez writes the "ante has been upped in the high-stakes game of poker that pits the boxing match against UFC 103, whose main event is Vitor Belfort against Rich Franklin, which will be televised via pay-per-view that night from Dallas." But UFC President Dana White "has denounced Mayweather-Marquez as a fight that 'nobody wants to see' and as a reason why 'boxing keeps hurting itself'" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/25). UFC is airing a live commercial-free show on Spike leading into the start of the PPV that will feature several undercard bouts (THE DAILY).
ALL OUT EFFORT: In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, John Ourand reports HBO Sports is "planning its biggest marketing effort ever for its two-year-old '24/7' franchise," which on August 29 will launch a four-episode series around Mayweather-Marquez. HBO Senior VP/Sports Operations & PPV Mark Taffet "thinks HBO can expand the series' audience by appealing to the 18-to-34-year-old demographic through aggressive online advertising buys and content-sharing deals with sports Web sites." Ourand notes the "key element will be the most extensive digital strategy ever undertaken by HBO Sports," as in addition to digital media buys, HBO will "market the series by giving short-form video content, such as show clips and previous Mayweather or Marquez bouts, to other Web sites." HBO also will make the first episode of "24/7" available free to "several online and TV outlets, including ESPN.com, Yahoo.com, iTunes and cable operator on-demand services." The network also will do "traditional TV, print, radio and outdoor ad buys" in support of the series (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/24 issue).