Floyd “Money” Mayweather Leaves HBO for Showtime in “Richest Individual Athlete Deal in All of Sports”

February 19, 2013 1:32 pm by Jake Chastain

In a move that shocked the boxing community and sports fields alike Floyd Mayweather has decided to leave his long time home of HBO for the rivaled Showtime/CBS Corporation in one of the largest multi-fight deals ever.

Mayweather, now widely considered the best boxer on the planet after Manny Pacquiao was viciously knocked out a few months ago by an aging Juan Manuel Marquez, has signed a deal that is shooting to see him fight 6 times over the next 30 months on Showtime PPV. That, my friends, is a lot of fighting over the span of 2 ½ years…and a lot of fighting translates into a whole lot of money. The contract is scheduled to start on May 4th when Mayweather takes on Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero.

Here is the press release:

Undefeated eight-time world champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather, boxing’s pound-for-pound king and the highest paid athlete in the world (Forbes, 2012), has entered into a groundbreaking pay-per-view deal with Showtime Networks Inc. and its parent company, CBS Corporation. Under the new deal, SHOWTIME PPV® will collaborate with CBS Corporation to comprehensively promote Mayweather’s events on the CBS Television Network and via the corporation’s expansive media platforms.

The deal-a unique revenue-sharing arrangement between SHOWTIME PPV and Mayweather-will enable him to fight up to six times over a period of 30 months, with the first mega-event taking place on May 4, 2013, when Mayweather will fight Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero. More details of this upcoming event will be announced shortly.

Mayweather’s new deal is by far the biggest in the sport of boxing (specific financial details are contractually confidential). Mayweather is the PPV king and averages over 1 million PPV buys per event, which is the highest PPV buy average of any boxer in history. At this record-setting PPV performance level, if all six fights contemplated by this deal occur, it will be the richest individual athlete deal in all of sports.

Although Mayweather has had a long relationship with HBO, a brand that helped him gain a lot of his popularity through the launch of its “24/7” spotlight show starting back in 2007, this contract is easily summed up: Mayweather went were more money was being offered and the fact that Showtime’s parent company, CBS, is going to offer Floyd several opportunities for cable television promotion and exposure. Don’t get too excited though folks, I’m almost certain that the all-time PPV king will likely only fight on Showtime PPV.

This is a huge hit to the HBO network and could spell trouble for its future in the boxing arena. Fighters such as Andre Ward, Julio Cesar Chavez, Brandon Rios and Adrien Broner now carry the responsibility of keeping HBO boxing alive and kickin’.

Scott Christ of BADLEFTHOOK briefly explained some of the shifts and ripples this deal will cause throughout the boxing world:

This move cannot be oversold. This puts HBO’s back to the wall in a major way, and is an incredible, downright shocking move from Mayweather, who has been an HBO loyalist over his career, and made himself a superstar via their “24/7” vehicle, which he helped launch in 2007. Since then, he has been, along with Manny Pacquiao, the face of boxing, and the face ofHBO boxing specifically.
Leonard Ellerbe tells Dan Rafael that HBO made a substantial offer, but Showtime/CBS simply offered a lot more, saying HBO brought a knife to a gun fight.

This is an outrageously huge score for Showtime and it couldn’t have come at a better time taking into consideration that the network just watched its MMA promotion, Strikeforce, bubble to the bottom of the sea. However, the biggest winner here, if he can continue to string wins together, is Floyd Mayweather.

In a world where money talks and athletes rule, Floyd “Money” Mayweather is king of the rock and still Champion of the World.

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