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Q&A: Schaefer talks about new Monday boxing series on FS1



Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer shared more of his thoughts on his company’s multi-media rights extension with Fox Sports to televise live boxing in the United States and internationally, which is highlighted by the inception of a Monday night boxing franchise on Fox Sports 1 (FS1), Fox Sports’ new, national multi-sport cable channel launching on Aug. 17.

FS1 is scheduling 24 live events per year, with Fox Deportes, the nation’s leading Spanish-language sports network, airing 48 events live. That’s an increase from 36 in the previous deal. The 24 events on FS1 will all originate in the U.S., and most are expected to run on Monday nights once the network launches.

In addition to Golden Boy’s live events, all Fox Sports channels have access to 24 classic archived events from the promoter’s extensive library, such as those involving Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Bernard Hopkins, Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley.

Schaefer spoke to in this Q&A below: How important is this deal to Golden Boy and to the general health of the sport?

Richard Schaefer: This is great news for boxing fans, and it really is a very big decision for the sport of boxing to have regularly-televised shows on prime time on Monday nights.

(The new series has) a designated slot on a network which is the largest cable lounge in the history of cable here in the United States, and it’s going to go, immediately, live on Aug. 17. It’s going to be in over 90 million homes, and so to be on a network like this on a regular basis is really fantastic.

For Golden Boy, it is one of the most significant, if not, the most significant television deals we have ever put together. The significance for the sport is absolutely huge, because, you’re going to have, every other week, 24 live boxing events coming from the United States on Monday night during prime time.

This is is absolutely fantastic. And then you’re going to have 24 other events coming from Mexico, so that’s basically giving boxing a regular presence on a network that is in over 90 million homes.

RTV: How critical do you see the fact that this will be a live boxing event during the week as opposed to late on the weekend?

RS: You have one of the largest networks in the world, and you have a designated slot in prime time, and that’s huge. This is not like somewhere at midnight, showing some boxing when most people are asleep.

From that point of view, this is absolutely huge to have that designated time slot. It’s interesting as well that it’s going to be on Monday night. Unlike many of the other sports, it seems like boxing has always had that notion that it always has to be on a Friday or a Saturday night.

But if you look at some of the other sports, whether it be baseball or football or basketball, or you name it, they all have events during the week. People go and they watch it live, and people go and they watch it at home, during the week, otherwise, they wouldn’t see it.

In that regard, it’s different that we will also have live boxing on a non-weekend day. And again, the prime time aspect — I can’t point that out enough — that commitment is really key.

So this is not going to be boxing events that are buried within time slots that are not really that attractive to viewers and fight fans, and not attractive to sponsors either. So this is a very significant day for boxing today, because to have boxing back on prime time on a regular basis is absolutely huge.

RTV: How soon do you expect the Monday night series to begin?

RS: We’re going to be starting right away. We will be announcing our first date shortly. But it is part of the multi-year commitment from us and a multi-year commitment from Fox.

So, the plan is to get started right away. We will be announcing the first date shortly, I would say, within the next couple of weeks.

RTV: Do you expect that the show’s format be similar to the current monthly “Golden Boy Live!” shows on Fox Sports/Fox Deportes?

RS: Yes, it will be similar, but it will be a step up. Even more of a step up than that. So, I think that it will be clearly the biggest shows, with the exception of the premium subscription channels, Showtime and HBO.

But other than that, it’s going to be right there. In fact, Fox has indicated to us, and we’re currently having discussions with them, about having bigger events.

I am talking about bigger events with seven-figure license fees. So with Fox entering the picture here, now, we have a significant player entering the boxing market.

That shows you the strength of boxing and it confirms the trend which I have mentioned many times over the past few months, that boxing is delivering.

All of these people who claim or say that boxing is dead or things like that, I think that this shows you that boxing is not only alive, but that it’s doing very well.

RTV: What caliber of fighters from the Golden Boy stable can viewers expect to see on the new Monday series?

RS: Well, I’m not going to go into names, but the plan is to use obviously use existing names from our stable, but then, also, to aggressively sign young talent, because no other promoter has the kind of platform where you’re in front of 90 million homes.

So from a recruiting point of view, I think that this is absolutely great. I mean, which young fighters wouldn’t want to be showcased on a platform like this on a regular basis?



Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]