Showtime Boxing closes as Paramount shifts from combat sports
One of the biggest players in combat sports, Paramount, has announced that it is pulling out of the industry. At the end of 2023, Paramount will close Showtime Sports and will no longer feature Showtime Boxing or Bellator MMA on its platform
Paramount’s exit from the combat sports industry was first reported by ESPN boxing insider Mike Coppinger.
“As we evolve our strategy to more efficiently allocate resources and align our content offering across the business, we’ve made the difficult decision not to move forward with boxing and other content produced by the Showtime sports team,” Paramount said in a statement. “We want to express our deepest gratitude to our employees who have contributed to this award-winning sports programming over multiple decades.”Quote via Front Office Sports
Showtime Boxing has been one of the most crucial streaming services in boxing for decades. At the moment, Premier Boxing Championships (PBC) has been streaming on Showtime Boxing.
Showtime Boxing is coming off the heels of one of its best years in recent memory. In 2023, the streaming service hosted some of the biggest boxing pay-per-view events in recent memory. This includes Terrance Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr., Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Carlo and Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia.
With Showtime Sports out of the picture, PBC will need to find a new streaming deal.
In the MMA world, Paramount’s decision has ramifications for Bellator MMA. In recent months, rumors have swirled that PFL is working to purchase Bellator. That deal is still not official, but it seems likely. Unlike PBC, Viacom owns Bellator. Therefore, if the company is out of the compact sports industry, Bellator will either be sold or will outright close.
Bellator currently only has one more fight card on its books. On Nov. 17, Bellator 301 will take place in Chicago, Ill. The event features two title fights and several of the biggest names signed to the promotion.
The fallout of Paramount exiting the combat sports industry will have massive effects on boxing and MMA. It leaves one less streaming option in the market, one of the biggest boxing promotions needs a new streaming deal, and Bellator is left in limbo.
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