Boxing has always been at the forefront of broadcast technology (where else can you see someone bite someone’s ear off?). Over the years, the way entertainment transmission has progressed was heavily influenced by boxing. In fact, if you look at the history of filming and transmission, something pioneered by Thomas Edison and William Kennedy Dickson, it was originally done with the idea of shooting prizefights to target the sporting fraternity.
Boxing Finally Embraces Digital Streaming
Boxing in Broadcasting History
From the very beginning, motion pictures producers in the US always associated broadcasting technology with boxing. Between 1895 and 1896, boxing pictures were one of the first genres of moving pictures to get a special distinction. That is when the trend of boxing showing the way of broadcast started and carried on for the next 100 years.
Even when live radio broadcasts became popular, it was boxing that was the biggest sporting event in history. Boxing was what introduced people to regular live sports broadcasts, and later shaped the sponsored programming model, and even the satellite and cable TV industry.
The Waning of Boxing
In recent times, while boxing was still popular when it came to television presentation, it had started to lag behind in the way the sport was distributed and transmitted. Everyone knows that being on cable TV isn’t enough anymore.
With the number of cord cutters increasing by the day, for any sport to be able to make a decent profit from television transmission, there have to be other means. It was because of boxing’s lack of enthusiasm about newer technologies made people lose interest in the sport.
It isn’t surprising to hear that boxing is hard to follow or that no one knows when boxing games are on. And while these questions could easily have been answered by Google, it does point to a big issue: in today’s market, without mass accessibility, it is hard to remain popular.
Being accessible to the masses in every way gives an edge to the competition because in the age rapid cord-cutting and customized offerings, being on satellite or cable TV is just not enough.
Earlier, boxing game broadcasting was effectively the domain of HBO and Showtime. The strategy of several promoters revolved around building up a new fighter up away from television in the hopes that a premium cable broadcaster would offer them a six-figure deal for showing them to the public.
Although popular at one time, it was also a high-risk model. Broadcasters were forced to give chances to many fighters without the assurance of success. Promoters knew there was no way to become desirable if nobody could even see them.
Change in Boxing Broadcasting
But the year 2018 has brought a dramatic change in the boxing broadcast industry, probably as big as the launch of HBO pay-per-view or the first broadcast of Showtime Championship Boxing.
Although boxing has made previous attempts at making use of web technology in the past, including Golden Boy club shows on RingTV and Major League Baseball’s streaming platform, the sport had never tasted much success with it. Today, you can be a diehard boxing fan and enjoy every major fight, without even owning a television.
Yes, something that boxing lovers have been doing for a long time illegally is now not only legal but also turning out to be quite popular. You don’t have to turn on a television to catch a fight because every major fight is available on HBO, Showtime or ESPN’s websites or mobile apps. Showtime also streams high-profile international fights live for free on its YouTube channel.
Boxing promoter Bob Arum said that when VICE uploaded a video feature of Gilberto Ramirez on YouTube, it had garnered 880,000 views in two days, four times the number it would get on HBO pay-per-view.
Such is the popularity that boxing has managed to find again, thanks to mass accessibility because of digital streaming. Other promoters have also realized this and it has led to widespread adoption of digital technology to make boxing fights more accessible to the masses.
Not only is it easy for people to watch wherever and whenever they want to, but also has far lower costs and is easy enough for anyone anywhere in the world to stream online for free.
Today, building up a young fighter isn’t hard at all. Much like the singing sensations and young chefs who gain mass popularity thanks to online streaming, all it takes to build up a new fighter is to showcase their performances online for free for millions of people.
From CBS’ online platform to FightNightLive streaming company on Facebook, boxing lovers have several places for watching their favorite fights.
Something to Be Impressed About!
With boxing finally turning to digital streaming, there are benefits for everyone. Fighters will have more exposure, promoters will have more ways to build up players, and more fights for everyone to watch. It’s a win-win for everyone, from broadcasters to promoters to viewers.