Boxing is coming back to network television.
Main Events announced Monday that it had agreed to a new two-year deal with NBC that will include as many as 16 shows on NBC Sports Network over the next two years. As part of the deal, a Dec. 22 show has been added to this year’s schedule, which will air in the afternoon on NBC. (Full disclosure: I will continue on my role as ringside reporter on the NBC telecasts, with the entire broadcast team of Kenny Rice, Freddie Roach and B.J. Flores remaining intact.)
“This series is the best thing that has happened to boxing in years,” said promoter Russell Peltz, who will continue in his role as primary matchmaker. “In just four shows, we have seen the emergence of U.S. heavyweight prospect Bryant Jennings and junior middleweight contender Gabriel Rosado. We have shown matches between world-rated fighters, and that’s something you rarely see these days on television. On top of that, the fights have been promoted the old-fashioned way, in sold-out noisy venues in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Bethlehem and Newark. This is the way boxing was meant to be.”
Some key details of the deal: There are a guaranteed six dates per year on NBC Sports Network in 2013 and 2014, with an option to add more. Up to two more shows could be added to the NBC schedule each year.
Two fights — Jan.19 and Mar. 9 — have already been added to the 2013 NBC Sports Network calendar.
Main Events president Kathy Duva reiterated her willingness to work with other promoters.
“We are once again reaching out to all promoters to get involved in the series.” Duva said. “The multiple-promoter format worked incredibly well during season one and we are hoping to continue to build on the momentum. All fighters who are willing to further their careers by engaging in compelling, interesting, meaningful matches are welcome.”
– Chris Mannix