The NBC Sports Network is making its return to the world of boxing.
Mike Coppinger of The Athletic reports that NBC Sports is making a splash in the boxing industry again with Ring City. The plan is to get the ball rolling on November 17 with two more events to close out 2020. The series is also expected to roll along in 2021.
Breaking: NBC Sports Network is returning to boxing with Ring City, a promoter-agnostic sports media platform, on Nov. 17 and also on Dec. 3 and Dec. 17 (Thursday nights), sources tell @TheAthletic. Series will continue with full slate next yearhttps://t.co/zTxRRtYWMY
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) September 3, 2020
Coppinger went on to say that there is a solid budget for the NBC Sports endeavor in boxing.
“Expect at least two fight per telecast with a budget that exceeds ShoBox, per sources, and relies on boxers from promoters like Lou DiBella, Dmitry Salita, etc. This marks NBC Sports’ return to boxing. Previously, PBC and Main Events had deals with the network”
The report also notes that NBC Sports will not be looking to lock boxers up in multi-fight deals. The promoters plan to have one-off deals in place.
How NBC Sports is selling itself on the viewer is that Ring City isn’t a promoter. The company is hoping that this allows for the best fights to be made with no one being tied up due to contracts. Here’s what Coppinger said about Ring City’s “mission.”
“Ring City’s mission statement, per sources, is to deliver fan-friendly fights where each boxer has a realistic path to victory on these two-hour telecasts. The key here, in my view, is that Ring City isn’t a promoter so it should be freed up to make the best possible fights.”
With a slew of promoters already being well-established in the world of boxing, it’ll be interesting to see if Ring City can find its place. Especially in the era of COVID where fighters are going back-and-forth with promoters, networks, and streaming services over pay. One major blowup thus far has been the issue between Canelo Alvarez and DAZN. Time will tell if NBC Sports can avoid those pitfalls.