Showtime Will Not Distribute Wilder-Ortiz Rematch

Showtime President Stephen Espinoza claimed it wasn’t “worth it” for his network to distribute the anticipated rematch between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz’ rematch for the WBC world heavyweight title match on pay-per-view.

“We had the opportunity to distribute the pay-per-view, but the deal didn’t make sense for us,” Espinoza told BoxingScene.com on Tuesday.

“Obviously, we love Deontay Wilder and we believe Wilder-Ortiz will be an exciting fight. But we’re not gonna take disproportionate risks in order to secure it. We know the boxing market has been undergoing significant change, but that’s not unprecedented. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of newcomers enter the sport and try to change the marketplace. But we were here before that, we will be here after that and continue to thrive by making smart, strategic choices at the right times.”

Now, the fight will instead air on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View, home to this weekend’s Shawn Porter and Errol Spence Jr welterweight world title unification.

“Whether it’s sports or entertainment, there are times when you have to pass on a certain deal – whether it’s a film or TV series or sports rights,” Espinoza said of passing on Wilder-Ortiz as a pay-per-view property. “And sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make. That can be disappointing when you have to let a fight go somewhere else, but that’s the nature of the beast. We’re disappointed, of course, because of our long relationship with Deontay. But we’ll continue to focus on delivering the best boxing on TV for subscribers and delivering when the time is right, the sport’s biggest pay-per-views like we’ve been doing.”

“We’ve been in this sport a long time,” Espinoza said.

“We understand this sport as well as anyone. We have the best production. We have the strongest announcer team. We know the business and we know how to make the biggest fights, and we’ve done more of the sport’s biggest fights than anyone else. And we didn’t become the industry leader and the sport’s longest-running platform by taking forced risks. We became the industry leader by making smart business decisions and smart strategic decisions. That’s what [the Wilder-Ortiz rematch] outcome was, a principled strategic decision for the long-term strategy of Showtime boxing.”

Initial Report: Boxing Scene

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