Published January 13, 2017 9:44pm
Showtime Sports executive vice president and general manager Stephen Espinoza has expressed interest in airing the reported showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Australia’s Jeff Horn on April 23.
Showtime, a rival of Pacquiao’s former exclusive broadcaster HBO, is willing to work with Top Rank given Bob Arum’s plan to air the fight on cable television instead of on pay-per-view.
Horn, who holds a record of 16-0-1 with 11 knockouts, is yet to fight outside of Australia and New Zealand. The Aussie fighter is relatively unknown, making the upcoming fight a good option for free viewing, according to Espinoza.
“I think it would be great for the sport, in particular with those overseas pay-per-views that are a challenge to market in the US,” said Espinoza.
“So there’s some logic to what Bob says. And if there’s an opportunity to be in that business, we would love to be in the running for it.”
Espinoza admits that he’s yet to see Horn compete inside the ring. And despite the Aussie’s lack of fanbase in the United States, the Showtime exec believes that Pacquiao is still a name that could draw good ratings.
“He is still a name. There’s some challenges in the U.S. with the name recognition of Jeff Horn. That’s remedied by not going to pay-per-view,” Espinoza said.
“You look at the elements for a successful pay-per-view, it’s a competitive matchup and ideally, two known commodities that are available and able to market. And if you’re missing any of those elements, you probably shouldn’t be going to pay-per-view, if you’re looking for a big level of success.” —JM Siasat/JST, GMA News