By: Sean Crose
“FS1 is scaling back production on its boxing and WWE shoulder programming. “WWE Backstage will not longer be produced weekly. It is eliminating “Inside PBC.” Double digit job losses as a result. SBJ Media will have the full story tonight.”
These words, tweeted by John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, should probably come as no surprise to boxing fans. It’s hard for sports shows and sports journalism to survive when there’s no sports – and the past several months have been a veritable sports free zone thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Aside from the primary and horrible news that many will be losing their jobs because of this development, the loss of a boxing related program is never a good thing for the sport.
This is especially true in the case of “Inside PBC,” which was a rarity in that it was not often criticized by fans. Boxing, like pretty much everything else these days, has a fractured following. People cheer on organizations as if they were teams. “Inside PBC,” however, was well presented and entertaining enough to avoid the scorn of many – even though it generally focused on boxing material that fell under the Premiere Boxing Champions promotional banner.
Premiering on December 15th, 2018, “Inside PBC” offered insight into the fighters and news around Premiere Boxing Champions. Perhaps realizing that the popularity of boxing in the 70s and 80s stemmed in large part from networks focusing on particular fighters and fights, those behind the show presented a fan friendly perspective designed to make and keep interest levels high.
“FOX Sports is thrilled to be expanding PBC boxing programming with this studio show,” Fox Sports Steve Becker claimed at the time. “We look to go inside the stories of the PBC boxers with in-depth interviews and feature profiles, as well as previews of upcoming fights and breakdowns of the most-recent, thrilling matchups.” With host Kate Abdow at the helm, name fighters like Shawn Porter and Abner Mares would offer their takes on the matters being presented each episode.
With a glossy set and segments one might find on a show dedicated to the NFL or NBA such as panel discussions, “Inside PBC” brought a degree of broadcast professionalism and seriousness some find lacking in the sport. In the end, however, the program, as well as WWEs “Backstage,” might not have been able survive a pandemic which has essentially put the world on hold. With boxing slowly returning to live broadcasting PBC itself is expected to resume showing fight cards with regularity in the near future. At the moment, no full schedule is present at the PBCs official web page.