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How pay-per-view KOd boxing

Monday, 27 April, 2015

Why has boxing lost the popular touch? In this week of Mayweather-Pacquiao, it’s a valid question. One of the reasons, surely, is the paradox of the pay-per-view business model. On the one hand, it bestows vast riches on the best fighters, but on the other, it hastens the decline of the sport by taking it off free television, thus removing boxers from everyday conversation. Jonathan Mahler of Bloomberg noted two years ago:

“HBO — and later Showtime — didn’t have to worry about satisfying advertisers; it could underwrite fights by making them pay-per-view events. This may have worked as a business strategy (Mike Tyson, in particular, was a cash cow for HBO), but it helped to turn boxing into a niche sport followed only by those willing to pay $59.95 or more to watch big bouts.”

One cannot imagine a Rocky or Raging Bull being made ever again, nor can one imagine a future author writing this:

“And so the match came to an end, and when we had all emptied out onto the street, into the frosty blueness of a snowy night, I was certain, that in the flabbiest family man, in the humblest youth, in the souls and muscles of all the crowd, which tomorrow, early in the morning, would disperse to offices, to shops, to factories, there existed one and the same beautiful feeling, for the sake of which it was worth bringing together two great boxers, — a feeling of dauntless, flaring strength, vitality, manliness, inspired by the play in boxing. And this playful feeling is, perhaps, more valuable and purer than many so-called ‘elevated pleasures'”.

Breitensträter — Paolino by Vladimir Nabokov


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