July 23rd, 2012 By Pedro Fernandez
San Francisco, CA- Having had many people I know remove HBO from their Cable lineup and bill, I am here to ask the $64,000 question that is the title of this article. While there have been changes to the HBO hierarchy as the departure of HBO Sports CEO Ross Greenburg was a plus, seeing less of Larry Merchant and more of Max Kellerman is a negative. When they tried to send Larry packing a few years ago, the Time Warner suits realized that Merchant, having done boxing on the network then known as Home Box Office since their first fight I believe in 1978, was the “face” of HBO’s boxing team, like him or not. Thus they backed away from having Kellerman, AKA “Kellerboy” to some people in boxing, push right Larry off the end of the broadcast bench.
IS HBO WORTH THE EXTRA MONEY FOR BOXING?
Last Saturday night, the Ultimate Fighting Championship card did not produce the expected fireworks, and afterwards UFC President Dana White said that he was both “ashamed and embarrassed.” He went on to say that since they took over the UFC with UFC 33, that you could “count the number of shows that have sucked on one hand.” To me, that took some guts. That being said, has HBO ever apologized for the seemingly constant mismatches and easily predictable endings?
ONLY MERCHANT HAS THE STONES TO TELL IT LIKE IT IS!
That’s an easy one, “negative.” While Merchant has aired regrets on air, nobody else, not on the broadcast team, or the suits that have offices at 1100 Ave. of The Americas in New York City, have ever come out and apologized to the fight fans who subscribe to HBO because of the boxing coverage for the “showcase” (easily predictable endings) bouts, nor the mismatches they air. Boxing After Dark, the original series concept in 1996 was to pit starving fighters against one another. Now they have pugilistic lions against pugilistic alley cats, so again there is no intrigue as to who will win or lose.
CAST YOUR VOTE: A THUMBS UP OR THUMBS DOWN FOR HBO BOXING?
I was going to put this in the “poll” box in the left hand margin of the home page at RingTalk.com, but I think this is not just a “yes or no” type of question, thus I’ll leave the room below to express your feelings. The question again, “Is HBO Worth Paying For Boxing Fans?”