One of the significant issues in boxing is its lack of media coverage on the sport. Sports radio, television and newspapers rarely discuss boxing bouts or topics, unless it pertains to Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather, making the internet the only place to obtain information. It doesn`t help that ESPN Wednesday and Friday Night Fights remain the only television venue to watch boxing without individuals having to pay additional money to subscribe to HBO or Showtime and even more money for their paper view events.
This lack of media exposure in boxing; however, could be resolved with the introduction of Anthem Media Group, Inc.`s Fight Network, which could potentially rejuvenate the sport and make it popular again.
The Fight Network is the world`s premier 24-hour, seven days a week, combat sport television channel that covers live kickboxing, professional wrestling, mix martial arts match ups and in particular, boxing bouts from around the world. They offer on –site and live studio programming, featuring commentary and analysis of all the aspects of the sports, call–in shows, reality programming, documentaries and feature films.
“We want to bring the fight culture back to America and make these combat sports, especially boxing relevant and mainstream again among American sports,” said Leonard Asper, CEO of Anthem Media Group, Inc., the parent company of the Fight Network. “There are millions of fight fans who are starving for more coverage and exposure to their combat sports and our Fight Network will give them what they want.”
Over the last four years, they`ve steadily increased their fan base to more than three million individuals and they are now available for the first time on a major American television provider, Cablevision Systems Corp on June 26, 2014. Cablevision retains millions of subscribers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The Fight Network can be seen on Channel 464. They recently launched on the Texas base cable system, Grande Communication, channel 240 on August 1, 2014. This market reaches more than 140,000 customers across Texas.
Subscribers to the Fight Network can access it on the Optimum App which is available on iPads, iPhones or iPod Touches, Google Play for the Android phones and tablets and Amazon Marketplace for the Kindle devices. The Fight Network is aggressively working to expand its coverage throughout America by being added on the other major cable providers as well as perfecting their gaming console, which they hope will be available to their customers in the near future.
“Our network offers more than 300 hours of live programming and our customers can watch boxing bouts right away, without having to wait a week for it to air again,” said Asper. “We cover several live boxing bouts, undercards, weigh – ins and press conferences that aren`t televised along with having some of the best, unbiased, comprehensive and in-depth analysis of all the important topics and breaking boxing news, throughout the week and not just on fight night.”
The Fight Network delivers three live weekly studio programming call-in shows: “5 Rounds” on Monday at 7:00 P.M. and “Fight News Now” on Wednesday at 7:00 P.M. where a panel of experts discuss the previous and upcoming boxing matches. On “Toe 2 Toe” at Friday at 8:00 P.M. they conduct interviews with fighters, managers, trainers and promoters.
The Fight Network spans over 42 countries, including nationwide in Canada where fans can also follow this programming on TSN Radio via SiriusXM on Channel 167. Some of the other countries include the ZON in Portugal, Telenet in Belgium, D–Smart in Turkey, ZAP in Angola and Mozambique and OSN across the Middle East and North Africa.
“We don`t have an exact number of individuals that we want to watch our channel, as long as in the near future, we can reach every fight fan,” said Asper. “We are extremely excited about our company and we believe we are on the right track to accomplish our goals.”
They work with several significant boxing promoters such as Golden Boy Promotions, Frank Warren, Matchroom Sport, DiBella Entertainment, Eye of the Tiger Boxing and Hennessy Sports. Fight Network is also involved with several important mixed martial arts promotional companies which include the Cage Warriors, KSW, Ultimate Challenge MMA, Championship Fighting Alliance and M-1 and in kickboxing they work with K-1 Global, Enfusion and Final Fight Championship.
The Fight Network has the ability to bring the media coverage that boxing desperately needs to its sport. This network by potentially broadcasting more bouts and having more boxing coverage than any other channel and not costing the viewer anymore to watch it, allows it to greatly expand its exposure, interest and presence around the world, especially in America. This network could help boxing reach a much wider fan base than it currently has and assist it in obtaining millions of additional fans around the globe. By closing the gap in media coverage and making boxing more mainstream, like it was in the 1970s, lets boxing grow in popularity and wealth.
While the Fight Network does televised other combat sports, they`ll still televise a great deal of boxing bouts and coverage. They willn`t fix the lack of media coverage and make boxing an instant success overnight; however, it`s a significant step in the right direction and within a couple of years, if not sooner, the Fight Network will be a force to reckon with.
“Our network will finally bring boxing back to being a focal point in the sports world and to the forefront of sports in America and around the world,” said Asper.
For a full listing of the Fight Network`s broadcast schedule, please visit tv.fightnetwork.com, follow them on Twitter @fightnet, become a fan of them on Facebook and visit them on Instragam @fightnet.