SBD/March 19, 2013/Media

CBS Primetime To Air Greenburg Documentary Leading To Mayweather-Guerrero PPV

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Mayweather will be featured in a documentary and the four-part series "All Access"
A one-hour documentary crafted by former HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg that will air on CBS in primetime will anchor more than 20 hours of original programming Showtime will unveil today when it announces promotional plans for its May 4 PPV card featuring Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Roberto Guerrero. Greenburg, a winner of 51 Emmys who launched the popular "24/7" franchise for HBO as a way to broaden interest in the '07 Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya fight, will serve as Exec Producer on both “Mayweather,” an original film that will tell the stories of both fighters, and “All Access,” the four-episode series that will follow both fight camps in the lead-up to the bout. “Mayweather” airs at 8:00pm ET on April 27 on CBS. The choice of Greenburg likely will be cast in boxing circles as another exchange in a tussle between Showtime and HBO. Yesterday, HBO announced that it no longer would do business with Golden Boy Promotions, which co-promotes Mayweather. In the last year, several Golden Boy fighters who built their profiles on HBO have moved to Showtime, saying the network offered better terms. Showtime secured Greenburg’s services last month, well before the final falling out between HBO and Golden Boy. He headed HBO Sports from '00-11. “Ross almost single-handedly created a genre over the last decade in television. It’s not exaggeration to say that,” said Showtime Sports Exec VP & GM Stephen Espinoza. “When we determined he was available and able to work with us, we immediately reached out. How could you not?”

IMPROVING UPON PACQUIAO EXPERIMENT: Showtime tried a similar primetime tactic to promote its last PPV foray, a one-off with Manny Pacquiao in '11 that ended with the fighter returning to his long-time home at HBO. CBS aired an episode of the same behind-the-scenes show that aired on Showtime. The show flopped, registering a 0.9 rating. This time, Greenburg has been charged with creating an original show targeted to mainstream viewers. “The easy thing would have been to take what was done for Pacquiao-Mosley and do it again,” Espinoza said. “But in order to take advantage of a primetime audience, you have to produce for that audience. Taking programming that is produced for an audience of boxing fans and putting it on in primetime probably isn’t the best fit. This is Ross’s baby. He’s producing it himself. It will not be reconstituted behind-the-scenes footage. It will be produced for a primetime audience from the start.” Showtime on April 3 also will air the one-hour documentary film “30 Days in May,” which explores Mayweather’s two-month term in a Las Vegas prison, again featuring exclusive footage and interviews.

FIGHT LEAD-UP WELL COVERED: Fight week will feature programming integrated daily across Showtime, Showtime Extreme and CBS Sports Network, including live weigh-in coverage, pre-fight coverage and undercard fights, as well as All Access marathons and archived fights from Mayweather-Guerrero. Programming on CBS’ digital properties will include live streaming of the pre-fight press conference on May 1, a “Staredown” interview show hosted by Brian Kenny, archived fights featuring Mayweather and Guerrero and replays of "All-Access." In addition to programming, CBS has unlocked promotional assets across the company, including integration with CBS’ NCAA Tournament coverage, in CBSSports.com’s popular NCAA tournament bracket game, through outdoor advertising and on CBS Sports Radio. “CBS and Showtime have made available many assets that hadn’t been available before,” said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer. “Now the sponsors and the distributors and the venue all know that CBS is behind this. And that motivates everybody. When people see that CBS, the No. 1 network in the country, is involved and supporting it, it’s much easier for them to get behind it.”
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