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HBO Jumps Into Ring With 40-Hour Fight Package

4/16/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

HBO will air a May 5 primetime
boxing special prior to the Floyd Mayweather-
Miguel Cotto pay-per-view event, part of a 40-hour package of fight-related content.

The premium network will air nearly a dozen
shows revolving around Mayweather’s attempt
to wrest the World Boxing Association
super welterweight title from Cotto, and designed
to give viewers an up close, behindthe-
scenes experience leading up to the May
5 event, HBO Sports senior vice president
Mark Taffet said. One of those shows, the
hourlong Fight Day Now, will air on HBO on
fight night at 8 p.m. and will serve as a preview
of the Las Vegas experience surrounding
the bout, according to Taffet.

“What is particularly unique about this
fight is the programming support that will be
on the HBO network in the weeks leading up
to the fight,” he said. “What we’re doing here
is demonstrating our commitment to our affiliates, to viewers and to the sport with an
unprecedented level of boxing programming
in the upcoming weeks.”

The network will debut two new boxingrelated
shows, Floyd Mayweather Speaking
Out
, a half-hour profile
of the undefeated and often
controversial fighter,
hosted by author Eric Michael
Dyson, and Portrait
of a Fighter: Canelo Averez
,
showcasing the life of
the up and coming Mexican
welterweight champion,
who will fight Shane
Mosley on the undercard
of the Mayweather-Cotto
event, Taffet said.

The network will also
bring back its four-episode signature documentary
series 24/7, which will take a behindthe-scenes look at the Mayweather and Cotto
training camps. As with previous fights, premiere
episodes of the series will repeat on Time
Warner Inc. sibling service CNN at midnight.

In addition, the series for the first time will
also have a to-be-determined run on TNT, according
to Taffet.

Also airing on HBO over the next three
weeks are Faceoff With Max Kellerman, in
which the two fighters will meet and discuss
the fight face to face; and Weigh In Live, which
will cover the fighters’ weigh-in festivities the
night before the event.

Taffet added that these
shows will also air on TV
Everywhere platform HBO
Go and on HBO on Demand
in an effort to provide
convenient and full
access to fans. In addition,
there will be a “broad array”
of programs and video
assets available on HBO.com, HBO’s YouTube channel
and affiliates’ free VOD
platforms, Taffet said.

Also on April 27 and 28, HBO2 will air a
pair of classic fights involving the combatants
— Mayweather vs. Diego Corrales (2001)
and Cotto vs. Shane Mosley (2007). Fans
chose these fights via an online survey, according
to Taffet.

Taffet said the shoulder programming for its
PPV fights are generating strong ratings and is
drawing a younger demographic than the network’s
live fights.

Taffet said a similar rollout of enhanced promotional
programming will also support the
network’s June 9 Manny Pacquiao-Timothy
Bradley Jr. PPV event.

September