The Boxing Bell is ringing for Showtime Sports activities.
Paramount says that Showtime’s sports activities division will shut down on the finish of the yr.
“As we evolve our technique to extra effectively allocate sources and align our content material providing throughout the enterprise, we’ve made the tough choice to not transfer ahead with boxing and different content material produced by the Showtime sports activities group,” learn a press release from Paramount World. “Showtime will proceed to air and assist the remaining 2023 boxing slate and honor obligations by means of the top of the yr. We need to specific our deepest gratitude to our workers who’ve contributed to this award-winning sports activities programming over a number of a long time.”
Showtime Sports activities occupied a novel area within the sports activities market, with its give attention to fight sports activities like boxing and combined martial arts (by means of the Bellator model), in addition to long-form sports activities documentaries. Showtime’s exit from the sports activities enterprise follows an analogous transfer by HBO Sports activities again in 2018, when it exited the boxing enterprise. HBO nonetheless produces sports activities movies and documentaries.
In fact Paramount already has a sports activities division in CBS Sports activities, which has the NFL, faculty soccer and basketball, and different stay occasions. It’s anticipated that CBS Sports activities will oversee all sports activities content material throughout the firm shifting ahead, together with any sports activities docs or related programming.
The corporate owns Bellator, although it has reportedly been searching for a purchaser for MMA promotion. Showtime sports activities may also proceed as deliberate with the 2 remaining boxing occasions scheduled for this yr.
In a be aware to employees after asserting the choice, Showtime sports activities president Stephen Espinoza expressed his “profound disappointment” with the information.
“The corporate’s choice is not a mirrored image of the work we now have performed in recent times, nor of our lengthy and proud historical past,” Espinoza wrote. “It isn’t an indictment on the worth we now have delivered to this community for 37 years, nor, particularly, in 2023. Sadly, in a quickly evolving media market, the corporate has needed to make tough selections allocating sources, resetting priorities and reshaping its content material providing.”
Earlier this yr Paramount merged Showtime with its Paramount+ streaming service, bringing Showtime programming — together with its stay boxing matches and sports activities documentaries — into the bigger streaming providing.
Leisure chief Chris McCarthy shifted Showtime’s technique to give attention to core franchises like Billions and Yellowjackets, although Showtime’s sports activities programming continued after the merger was accomplished.
Espinoza’s be aware is under.
Colleagues and associates:
It’s with profound disappointment that I shared this morning’s information that the corporate has determined to close down Showtime Sports activities on the finish of this yr.
For over 37 years, Showtime Sports activities and Occasion Programming has occupied an vital place within the sports activities media ecosystem, delivering premium storytelling, daring and provocative documentaries, considerate evaluation and dialogue, and, after all, excellent stay manufacturing of the most important fight sports activities occasions in historical past. Now we have helped illuminate the intersection of sports activities, tradition and society, and we now have boldly and unapologetically explored tales and themes that others couldn’t or wouldn’t. And we now have performed all of it with the best requirements of care and high quality.
The corporate’s choice is not a mirrored image of the work we now have performed in recent times, nor of our lengthy and proud historical past. It isn’t an indictment on the worth we now have delivered to this community for 37 years, nor, particularly, in 2023. Sadly, in a quickly evolving media market, the corporate has needed to make tough selections allocating sources, resetting priorities and reshaping its content material providing.
Whereas right this moment’s information is definitely tough and disappointing, it’s solely out of our management. So, as we now have performed when confronted with related challenges prior to now, we are going to management the issues that we are able to management. We’ll proceed to ship on our promise to subscribers and our content material companions for the rest of the yr; particularly, to proceed to ship the best high quality, industry-leading boxing programming that has established us because the unequivocal No. 1 vacation spot for the game worldwide and to complete what we began in 2023, maybe the very best yr in our division’s historical past.
From Emmy Award-winning documentaries to the three highest-grossing pay-per-view occasions in tv historical past, I’m extraordinarily happy with our content material and our occasions – however I’m way more happy with our folks. Your diligence, dedication and fervour have impressed me every single day, and it’s these qualities that would be the enduring legacy of Showtime Sports activities.