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Main Events’ proposed multiyear television deal with NBC Sports scuttled

Kathy Duva with former three-time light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev. Photo by David Spagnolo/Main Events
Fighters Network

Main Events hoped to complete a television rights deal with NBC Sports, but multiple sources with knowledge of the talks told The Ring that the potential partnership is no longer being discussed.

ESPN reported in October that the deal was in the process of being finalized. The negotiations hit a roadblock when a third party, a site in Atlantic City, New Jersey, that was set to stage fights broadcast on both NBC and NBC Sports Net, withdrew financial support.

Main Events CEO Kathy Duva didn’t return a phone call and text message seeking comment.

NBC Sports was set to dole out low six-figure license fees for fights promoted by Main Events, the New Jersey-based promotional company. The proposed relationship called for approximately seven fights a year over the span of two years.

A press conference to formally announce the deal was scheduled for mid-November in New York, per sources, but never took place. NBC hasn’t televised boxing since August 2016 following a brief stint with Premier Boxing Champions.

Main Events formerly televised fights on NBC Sports. That deal began in January 2012 and ran through December 2014. The series introduced audiences to Sergey Kovalev, the light heavyweight champion who became a fixture in the sport on HBO. Heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings also was featured prominently.

Main Events’ roster has thinned out since that deal expired, with Kovalev the lone remaining notable fighter in the stable. And even he’s on the downside of his career at 35 following an upset knockout loss to Eleider Alvarez in July on HBO.

The fighters are set to rematch February 2 on ESPN, and it’s unclear where Main Events goes from there.

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger