The lack of free-to-air tv has been a massive hindrance to Irish boxing and Irish boxers’ development since the retirement of Bernard Dunne.
Promoters have tried to tempt TV back into the game but, much to the frustration of those directly involved in the game, little interest was shown in showing fights.
It seems the Last Man Standing is a concept that finally has piqued TV interest and Assassin Boxing and Red Corner Promotions are in talks with three separate channels with regard to broadcasting the March 3rd event at the National Stadium in Dublin.
In recent years it was suggested stations were open to broadcasting fight nights if the production costs were covered and it seemed that was the case when Last Man Standing was first put to them.
However, the tide has turned and the promotional duo have “offers” on the table with regard to showing the Prizefighter-style show and a bidding war could erupt.
“In terms of the TV situation, it remains similar to what it was at the press conference. Of course we have had meetings since, and talks have improved, but it is something we don’t want to rush into. We have three broadcasters who have put offers on the table,” Assassin’s Conor Slater explained to Irish-Boxing.com.
While he was not naming names, it is believed that TV3 and eir Sport are among the interested parties
Money will play a factor when it comes to picking which broadcaster to run with, but it appears there are other considerations involved.
Longevity seems more important to those behind the concept and if one of the three can commit to broadcasting more than just the inaugural middleweight fight night, they may just a have an edge in negotiations.
“It is our responsibility to select the right partner to move boxing forward. We want to secure the best possible deal so that we can deliver a number TV dates. We hope to make our decision before Christmas, and to announce it on January 10th at our press conference, where we will also announce our eight participants.”
While it might be a way off yet, there might come a time that, like Prizefighter before it, Last Man Standing will its course and dwindle in popularity – however it is hoped by that time that TV coverage may have made a few names and boxing will have had the chance to once again show its pulling power.
As a result TV companies might behind more traditional formats again Slater is confident it will pull an audience.
“TV is imperative for us moving forward. The only way Irish boxing is going to grow is by having casual fans, and the general public involved. Boxing is unique in the fact it probably is one of the least supported mainstream sports, but one of the most viewed sports at times. If the product is good, people will watch it.”