Is The Success Of Boxing Directly Related To ESPN's Coverage Of It?

Friday, September 28, 2007


I had to pass this amazing article that Unsilent Majority penned for No Mas this morning. It's a perfect account of why boxing is not getting the same respect it has in years past and how that's directly related to coverage on ESPN and SportsCenter.

Boxing Isn't Dead, But ESPN Is Burying It (No Mas)

How boxing is considered a failing sport when they set a record for PPV views with the De La Hoya-Mayweather fight just doesn't make sense, and I think UM sheds a lot of light on the situation. Here are some of UM's points....

The lone "boxing" stories that I've seen crack SportsCenter's rotation this week have involved Pretty Boy Floyd dancing like a fool and the downward spiral that is Mike Tyson's life. The last time SportsCenter featured any real boxing coverage the commentators were debating whether or not two fading stars could "save" the sport.

Ever since ESPN bought up the Arena Football League, Tony Graziani's name has been on the lips of SportsCenter anchors more than Kelly Pavlik or Andre Berto or any of the other emerging marketable stars. It makes sense for any major corporation to "keep things in the family" but Disney goes off the deep end.

The primary component of the company's boxing coverage is Friday Night Fights which offers compelling live cards and analysis of the larger boxing scene. So what do they have planned for this week's episode? Uh...well nothing really, apparently the season is over. I didn't even know boxing had seasons... well played ESPN.
Great job by UM to give just another example of the hypocrisy ESPN is throwing right in all of our faces. It's like they're not even trying to hide it anymore. ESPN is so desperately trying to the UFC on-board that they're ignoring (still) one of the most popular Sports in the Country and hell....the World.

Max Kellerman is rolling over in his grave.......What he's not dead??? Oh.

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 11:21 AM

25 Comments:

And I come in here and say that the only reason people only care about the Yankees, Cowboys, Lakers, etc. etc. etc. (and, subsequently, nobody cares about the Brewers, Hornets, Titans, etc)) is because the "big teams" are the only teams are hyped on SportsCenter, and I get laughed at and called an "ESPN Basher."

I don't see how this is any different.

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 11:59:00 AM  

I think you are giving ESPN's coverage of the UFC and MMA too much credit. Seriously, go to ESPN.com and try to find the Mixed Martial Arts Page. It's a hunt. And once you find it, you'll realize that all of the stories have been transplanted from sherdog.com and that ESPN has very few writers dedicated to MMA. ESPN's MMA coverage has taken a drastic dip since the Rampage Liddell fight at UFC 71.

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:00:00 PM  

um is right, but they have the best boxing coverage when they do it.

they have a deals with sherdog.com and are partners.

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:02:00 PM  

I don't think boxing lends itself to being covered. It's easy to blame ESPN for not covering it, after all, all of sports' ills are ESPN's fault, but I don't think Showtime or HBO are going to let ESPN cover the event on-site and they don't let ESPN use ANY footage until quite a while after the event is over.

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:10:00 PM  

Anon #1- There are very few that label you that here. All of that is true and this is right in line with that.

Anon #2- They don't cover it because they don't have the rights yet. The point is they're trying like hell. They will have zero coverage of the Pavlick-Taylor fight, but before the Liddel-Rampage bout they had f'ing Joe Rogan on SportsCenter! Chuck Liddel was on the cover of ESPN the Mag for christsakes.

Sep 28, 2007, 12:10:00 PM  

"all of sports' ills are ESPN's fault"

Well, the public didn't name ESPN "The Worldwide Leader in Sports."

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:11:00 PM  

espn did have a pay-per view of boxing, but the cable providers did not want to carry it and it was very good card.

they can only show coverage of boxing on ppv when the other telecast is over and they get to us 10 second of the boxing and/or pictures of the fight.

yeah you can blame espn and they are partial to blame. but boxing, boxing partners, and fans are also to blame.

heavywights are the most watched, unless the other name is well known,boxing is corrupt, and fans still buy arum's stuff.

but no one blames arum.

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:18:00 PM  

Thanks for having my back AA. Nobody cared about the Browns or the Saints until ESPN's two favorite players showed up, and the teams suddenly became "newsworthy."

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:19:00 PM  

oh yeah the ppv was like 10-15 dollars for at least 6 fights

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:20:00 PM  

It's not really ESPN that we're blamming but the model that ABC has created of ESPN. They are only interested in promoting things that are beneficial to Disney.

The money associated with Boxing doesn't help things, but if ESPN previewed this upcoming fight...which is going to be a good one....people would probably tune in.

ESPN is monopoly when it comes to Sports and that's not a good thing.

Sep 28, 2007, 12:23:00 PM  

yeah but it goes by ratings and it is a business. can you tell me off the top of your head the top 10 boxers.

boxing and its partners don't help.

so you want them to cover a sport that is dying, the truth. as much or more thean the nfl. the nfl gives them access.

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:27:00 PM  

It can be a "chicken or egg" argument. But I think the chicken came before the egg.

Do the Yankees lead SportsCenter EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, because they're the most popular team in baseball? Or are they the most popular team in baseball because ESPN shoves them down our throat?

Before you answer that question, answer this one: If ESPN had an exclusive contract to televise Colorado Rockies games, do you think that the Yankees would still be the top story?

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:28:00 PM  

And, hell, let's leave ESPN out of this if you insist. Answer this question: why are the Cubs and Braves two of the four most popular teams in Major League Baseball? And were they that popular before they had their own television networks telling us how great they were?

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:31:00 PM  

How can a sport be dying when 2.1 Million people buy a crappy De La Hoya- Mayweather fight for $50 on PPV???

That's about 3.5 times any UFC fight.

Sep 28, 2007, 12:32:00 PM  

how many times have you seen a rockies game. name there players, gm,manager, etc.

what do you wanna see the rockies, dodgers, or yankees.

who has more fans?

so it is espn's fault becasue the rockeis have sucked so mcuh and even people in colorado don't support them, they are more braves
fans in colorado.

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:33:00 PM  

Exactly...Anon 12:31. ESPN like it or not is the trendsetter when it comes to Sports. And the only reason they promote certain things is because they have a vested interest them. Boxing is surviving on history and allure alone and that's an amazing thing.

Look at hockey. I promise you ESPN is getting Hockey back real soon and that's all you'll see on SportsCenter. Couple that with the WNBA and AFL and the ESPN has three entities which no one watches. They are failing sports, but they continue to ignore Boxing which still gets viewers.

Packaged with MMA that would be a goldmine. People could take sides and have town meetings and debates about both sports.

Sep 28, 2007, 12:36:00 PM  

people like the braves i live in new mexico and been to mexico they love the braves and the cubs or the cubs.

so if espn hyped up hoya/mayweather fight and by your own admission it was crap. you would not have said they overhyped it and they are just promoting boxing.

mma fans feel it is the opposite

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:39:00 PM  

You're not getting the point. If ESPN had a contract with the Rockies, TRUST ME, you'd care. They'd make you care. And they wouldn't shut up about it.

If the Rockies all of the sudden started showing up on ESPN twice or three times a week, you wouldn't start paying attention and learning who their players were?

I didn't see a lot of people marching in the streets demanding more coverage of poker, arena football, and women's soccer either.

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:39:00 PM  

Look, I don't blame ESPN for promoting their entities at all....they are in the business of making money. They're just stupid about the way they do it.

If they dropped the WNBA and Arena League...took that money and bought some UFC coverage....packaged that with Friday Night Fights....it would be amazing.

Sep 28, 2007, 12:42:00 PM  

Oh and P.S......Stick around for a bit on that ESPN Hockey info I mentioned before.

Sep 28, 2007, 12:46:00 PM  

the thing with bucci's article, espn took that part off his column.

beacuse it is not up to them it is up to vs and nbc.

they have no control

spike owns all rights to ufc they need to work out a deal w/them and then ufc. which they are doing right now.

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 12:48:00 PM  

ESPN is on a huge integrity kick.

hollywood wags said...
Sep 28, 2007, 1:31:00 PM  

My final point.

I have never watched a minute of poker on ESPN. But I know who Chris Moneymaker and Phil Hellmuth are.

And I sure as hell don't give a flying fu*k about the Women's World Cup. But I could name about six players. And BOTH of their goalies.

But I enjoy boxing when I get a chance to see it. And about the only current boxers I can name are Oscar de la Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Roy Jones Jr. (is he still fighting?).

And I can tell you EXACTLY why that is. And my only sin is wanting to watch sports news on television.

Oh yeah, and I could probably name fewer "real" boxers than boxers who have appeared on "The Contender."

That, my friends, constitutes a serious problem.

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 5:20:00 PM  

Imagine if the "news" networks decided to stop covering White House briefings because Tony Snow is (was) White House Press Secretary, and showing him would only promote Fox News since he used to work there.

That's how petty ESPN appears sometimes.

Anonymous said...
Sep 28, 2007, 5:36:00 PM  

Not to get all Deadspinny...

But us Hockey fans aren't impressed, but we do sympathize.

Jibblescribbits said...
Sep 28, 2007, 6:07:00 PM  

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