SBD/December 10, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Stephen Espinoza Profiled As Exec Who Turned Showtime Into Go-To Network For Boxing

Espinoza engineered bringing Floyd Mayweather Jr. to Showtime from HBO
Showtime Sports Exec VP & GM STEPHEN ESPINOZA has "almost single-handedly overhauled the perception of the network," making it the "go-to network for great fights," according to Kevin Iole of YAHOO SPORTS, who named Espinoza his Boxing Person of the Year. Since Espinoza took over in '12, Showtime has been the network "with the deepest cards with the matches that carry the most significance in the sport." He has "overhauled its production and given a pay-per-view/big-fight feel to each of its events." Espinoza "engineered and pulled off the complex deal that saw FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR., boxing's biggest star, jump ship from HBO and wind up at Showtime." Espinoza is "as much of a fight fan as those who tune in to see the bouts on Showtime, and it's reflected in the type of fights he buys." When he judges whether it has "been a good year for Showtime, he does so first based on the action in the ring." Espinoza has done a "magnificent job of buying quality fights, laying out the stakes and then presenting the bouts in a compelling manner." He also has "increased boxing's visibility so much that CBS is interested in airing some matches in 2014" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/9).
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