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Volume 26 No. 181
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Fox Hopes Spence-Porter Marketing Push Leads To PPV Success

Since the beginning of September, Fox and FS1 have aired more than 10 hours of fight-themed programming
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Since the beginning of September, Fox and FS1 have aired more than 10 hours of fight-themed programming
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Since the beginning of September, Fox and FS1 have aired more than 10 hours of fight-themed programming
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Fox Sports and Premier Boxing Champions are hoping their "aggressive marketing push" for the Errol Spence Jr.-Shawn Porter welterweight championship fight Saturday will "deliver strong PPV buys that could match or surpass the approximately 300,000 buys for its March Spence-Mikey Garcia PPV event and the reported 500,000 buys for its July Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman fight," according to R. Thomas Umstead of MULTICHANNEL NEWS. Since the beginning of September, Fox and FS1 have "aired more than 10 hours of fight-themed programming" in and around live NFL, MLB and college football game telecasts. Fox Sports Exec VP and Head of Programming & Scheduling Bill Wanger said he expects the net's third PPV performance in '19 to "be robust." He added, "We had some growth from fight one to fight two, and that was great considering fight two was in the summer. We think in general with the UFC moving to ESPN+ that there's an opportunity in the PPV market for the PBC and Fox to do well, because we're the only game in town" (MULTICHANNEL.com, 9/25).

STAR POWER: In L.A., Manouk Akopyan wrote Spence has "dreams of becoming boxing's next great American superstar and fill the shoes Floyd Mayweather Jr. has left behind." But if Spence "wants to emulate Mayweather, he'll have to raise his star outside of the ring." So far, he "hasn't showed much interest in presenting his exploits outside of the ring." He "prefers to let his performances do the talking." PBC's Al Haymon, who manages Spence, has "made it his personal project to position Spence as the next big star of the sport" (L.A. TIMES, 9/26). In Dallas, Calvin Watkins notes this is Spence's second PPV and he "hopes it propels him to superstardom." For Spencer, who has won 21 of his 25 fights by knockout, it is those knockouts that "attract not only hard core fight fans but the casual sports fan" as well. It is this "power in Spence's hands he hopes will push him to greater heights if he can unify part of the welterweight division and earn plenty" of PPV buys (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/27).

BRING 'EM OUT: In L.A., Mark Whicker wrote if 20,000 or so fans come to Staples Center on Saturday, it will be a "triumph of pure merit." Neither fighter has "L.A. roots," and Spence has "never fought" in L.A. Spence and Porter have "earned all this commerce, if it actually materializes, because of their work product." Whicker: "Or maybe Staples Center, entering its 20th season, has planted that many boxing seeds" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/26).