So sorry wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, and dogs that need to get their nightly walk...Golden Boy is starting up a Monday night boxing series, to run on a new Fox channel, called Fox Sports 1 (FS1), which launches on August 17.
Golden Boy will provide content for the two-hour primetime show, to be called "Golden Boy Live," and set to kick off the last Monday in August.
Golden Boy's day-to-day chief Richard Schaefer told TSS that he's been "working quite awhile on this, a little over a year ago we started providing Fox fights and they were pleased with the ratings."
Golden Boy signed a deal in April 2012 to put together 44 live events in US and Mexico to run on FOX Deportes, and the FOX Sports Net affiliates, and Fox gained access to classic fights from their library. This move makes boxing more prominent on the FOX schedule, and makes boxing available to the 90 million home which will be wired for FS1.
Eyeballs, eyeballs, eyeballs...The fights will be on basic cable, not behind a paywall, and not on "party" nights, Friday and Saturday, when the coveted demo is boogeying and boozing and commiting youtful indiscretions, instead of tuning in to the tube. Good move to nudge down the sport's average age of viewer...
"When we heard Fox was (converting SPEED to FS1) we were very interested in it being the right platform so we pursued them and they pursued us," he said. "It's exactly what was needed, a regular series in primetime, not somewhere hidden."
Amen, I say. So many of us hardcore fight fans still lament the death of USA's "Tuesday Night Fights," which ran from 1982-1998.
I asked about the financial commitment from FOX; will the budget be ESPN level, or higher? "It will be higher than ESPN, it will be the the biggest of the non premium cable shows," Schaefer said. Plus, he said, FOX expressed an interest in possibly getting involved in televising bigger shows, with seven figure budgets, so that would be something to look forward to down the line, on FX or maybe even the FOX network.
"They will be bigger shows than ShoBox, yes," he added.
So, what level of Golden Boys' fighters will we be seeing on "Golden Boy Live?" Schaefer mentioned boxers like Omar Figueroa, Danny Jacobs (pictured above, in Hogan Photo), Leo Santa Cruz and Jermell Charlo. "Young, emerging stars," he said, will be the centerpiece, and we will see the occasional title fight, as well.
FOX has committed to 24 cards in a multiyear deal, he said. Schaefer is thinking he'll lock down a stable cite in LA, in the NY-NJ area and in Texas, and then run sometimes in other states, like Florida.
Readers, what are your thoughts? What do you want to see? What do you NOT want to see? Share your thoughts, hopes and dreams in the Forum.