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HBO and ESPN to join forces

Mark Taffet, of HBO Pay-Per-View, talks at a

Mark Taffet, of HBO Pay-Per-View, talks at a news conference to promote Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez in their world welterweight championship boxing match. Credit: AP, 2011

If you can’t beat ‘em…Join em?

Two of television’s most popular networks, HBO and ESPN, announced a multi-year boxing programming and marketing agreement.

Mark Taffet, HBO’s senior vice president of sports operations and pay-per view and ESPN senior vice president of global business strategy and development Marie Donoghue made the joint announcement on Tuesday.

“This agreement is a testament to ESPN and HBO’s leadership in the sports media industry,” said Donoghue. “ESPN continues to provide sports fans with greater access to events across various platforms and this agreement further extends our commitment to serve the fan.”

The agreement consists of a cross-promotion of highlight packages, interviews and sharing access to key content and information, including HBO pay-per-view boxing event across both network platforms. 

ESPN and ESPN Deportes will also televise the HBO all-access series 24/7 leading up to HBO Pay-Per-View fights. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 13, at 9 p.m. ESPN2 will air the two-part 24/7 of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez back-to-back, immediately before ESPN Boxing: Friday Night Fights Special Edition live from Las Vegas at 10 p.m.

“There is a very deep commitment at HBO to grow the sport of boxing and broaden the exposure for the top fighters and events,” said Taffet. “This collaboration with ESPN will benefit fight fans that already love the sport, will attract many more sports fans to connect with boxing, and will greatly enhance the visibility of the fighters that are featured in HBO Pay-Per-View events.”


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