EPIX Network Becoming A Heavyweight Force In American Boxing
- January 26th, 2012
By Scoop Malinowski
As HBO and Showtime have made the erroneous business decision to ignore Klitschko World Heavyweight title fights, a new premium cable television network has stepped in to take advantage of the opportunity.
EPIX, headquartered in New York City, was first announced in April 2008 and launched in August 2009 with a free preview to Verizon FiOS subscribers. EPIX is actually a joint venture operated by three major entities in the entertainment industry – Viacom, Metro Goldwyn Mayer and Lionsgate Entertainment.
EPIX made it’s boxing debut in March of 2011. It became the third premium cable channel (after HBO and Showtime) to offer boxing on it’s schedule when it televised the WBC Heavyweight championship clash of Vitali Klitschko and #1 contender Odlanier Solis from Cologne, Germany. Klitschko won the bout by a one-punch first round knockout with Lennox Lewis and Dan Rafael helping out with commentating duties.
The Heavyweight division has always been deemed the flagship of professional boxing, and the popular maxim has always been: “So goes boxing as goes the heavyweight division.”
While boxing struggles in America and loses territory to the UFC, with HBO and Showtime largely ignoring the Klitschkos as champions, while preferring to promote and televise a host of B fighters such as Adrien Broner, Andre Berto, Chris Arreola, Paul Williams, etc., EPIX is in position to capitalize.
Last year EPIX also showed two other quality heavyweight fights – Alexander Povetkin vs. Cedric Boswell and Robert Helenius vs. Dereck Chisora.
And early in 2012 EPIX remains committed to developing it’s boxing brand as it will present three more world Heavyweight title fights – Vitali Klitschko vs. Chisora, Wladimir Klitschko vs. Jean Marc Mormeck, and Alexander Povetkin vs. Marco Huck.
While EPIX is not committed to a specific schedule or quantity of boxing events on it’s schedule this year, according to a source associated with the network, the network sees heavyweight boxing as an opportunity to establish a competitive foothold in the premium cable network business.
Who knows, maybe the Klitschkos can be for EPIX what Larry Holmes was the for that 1980′s fledgling sanctioning body, the IBF, which is still in existence today, largely the beneficiary of the credibility and prestige it received by Holmes wearing and promoting it’s world heavyweight title belt.
©2012 BoxingInsider LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed with out written permission.
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