Arum Discusses Possible ESPN/Showtime Talent Trade
Earlier this year, Bob Arum’s company parted ways with HBO and signed an exclusive multi-year agreement with ESPN.
Yet, for many fighters who would want to face fighters in Arum’s stable such as a Terence Crawford, the bulk of the welterweight talent, and the welterweight champions, are tied to Showtime.
Arum has no problem with working out a talent trade relationship with Showtime Sports head Stephen Espinoza, where an arrangement between two sides would make talent available to each other for necessary fights.
And while Arum has a less than favorable relationship with HBO’s Peter Nelson, he has made it clear he has no qualms with Showtime and their sports division.
“Lets not look at promoters particularly, lets look at networks. Over at Showtime, Espinoza is a very smart guy. And his boss is a very big fight fan, a good friend of mine, Les Moonves, and Moonves will make these fights happen. They can’t all be on ESPN nor can they all be on Showtime – so there is something called trade,” Arum told BoxingScene.com.
“The big boys, whether it’s CBS, ABC, FOX, ESPN – they have no problem with college football… arranging who gets which game and so forth. I think it will be the same and it should be the same with Showtime, CBS and Top Rank – that if they need a Top Rank fighter to fight on Showtime, we’ll make them available. And if there is a fighter who traditionally fights on Showtime or CBS, they will make him available to ESPN. ”
“I think that we’ll work very, very well with [Showtime, CBS] – at least that’s my hope.”