Is HBO Even Worth It Any More?
By: Sean Crose
Is HBO even worth it anymore? That’s a question many a boxing fan seems to be – or at least should be – asking these days. In this era, where the pay cable network runs fewer and fewer fights outside of Pay Per View, it’s hard not to get the feeling that fans are more loyal to HBO than HBO is to fans. Sure, there’s a decent card this weekend, but the next one isn’t until May, unless you count a smaller card later this month that won’t even appear on the networks’ broadcast flagship.
That, friends, is not a whole lot of boxing. The situation seems even worse for we boxing nuts when we take into consideration the fact that HBO isn’t exactly redefining quality. Sure, this weekend’s Vasyl Lomachenko led card is solid, as is May’s Bud Crawford throwdown. This is the network, however, which once gave fans the like of Tyson-Holmes and Chavez-Taylor I. The times, they aren’t a changin’…the times gone done and changed. The only question now is whether or not those who subscribe to HBO for the boxing want to hang on or not.
One reason fans may want to keep their subscriptions is because word is out that HBO is suffering from budget woes due to a possible corporate merger. In other words, this is all just temporary. Fans, though, have been hearing that song for a long time. The tight lipped approach to the issue taken by HBO brass hasn’t helped much either. There’s no promise of brighter days, at least as far as I can tell. All fans have is what HBO has been deeming to give them. And frankly, what’s been given hasn’t been much.
I could be wrong on this, but I suspect HBO might be done airing boxing broadcasts on a consistent basis. And by done, I mean permanently done. While I understand it’s not in the network’s best interest to let paying customers know it won’t be focusing on boxing anymore, I also know that it may be time for fans to take the hint. Provided Game of Thrones isn’t their thing, fans may want to start looking at the horizon and deciding if clearer days are ahead or if the sky pretty much looks the same well into the distance.
No one ever said HBO has to please boxing fans. But no one ever said boxing fans are required to pay a monthly subscription for HBO, either.