Thursday, June 08, 2023  |



Former HBO boxing exec Ken Hershman tabbed at esports firm

Fighters Network
Photo courtesy of HBO

Photo courtesy of HBO

Former HBO Sports president Ken Hershman has resurfaced in a new position outside boxing.

Hershman was named the new executive chairman and commissioner of the World Esports Association (WESA), an organization that is trying to add structure and a stable business model to the growing popularity of competitive video gaming. He was also tabbed as the chief executive officer of the WESA Agency, the company’s media arm. WESA is looking to Hershman to help stabilize and accelerate its launch after it was founded this past May.

The company announced the hiring on Wednesday in a press release, in which Hershman called esports not “just the future — it’s the present,” adding, “I’m excited about the challenge and confident my experience can help benefit everyone involved in WESA, including players, teams and leagues, as we work to build bridges and balance collective benefits.”

Hershman ran HBO’s boxing programming from January of 2012 until the end of 2015, shepherding the arrival of such stars as Gennady Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev and Terence Crawford; he also signed Canelo Alvarez to a long-term contract after he had fought on Showtime and oversaw a ratings spike at the network. Hershman also presided over the defection of Floyd Mayweather Jr. to Showtime and famously took a stand against Al Haymon, basically refusing to do business with him during his time at HBO. He held a similar position at Showtime as its sports director from 2003-2012.

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