Boxing has fallen out of the pantheon of great american sports.
First of all, sports is the most important programming and television.
I am a television guy and broadcast executive.
I believe when you look at how valuable major league baseball and the nba and nfl, at one point, boxing was far bigger than any of them.
My brother roger and i and my brother bobble is look for distress properties will stop when we picked it up wheel of fortune and jeopardy, they were distressed properties.
Jeopardy was on the shelf for nine years and yet 96% of americans watched it on three different networks.
They were all pretty distress and we looked and analyzed it and answered the question why isn't it working better?
We answered those questions and then decided to put the show into syndication, but then we locked both of them up for $50,000. what is it about that where you see the value, things are stressed for a reason.
What the characteristics of rock thing that looked like other distressed properties you've looked at in broadcast?
When you look at all the other sports, nfl, nba, major league a small, they are organized by a major, sophisticated league.
In boxing, they don't have that.
They have a lot of great people, but they have not been working together properly.
None of them are entertainment people, so i believe although they've done some great things, even though it's running into some problems, they generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year now.
When we picked up wheel of fortune, it did not generate much money.
Jeopardy was on the shelf.
Just like with wheel and jeopardy, we made a deal that was very low because no one else was interested in the property.
My dad always said make a deal both parties walk away smiling.
Merv griffin owned the majority, and although he did not get much money as a guarantee, he became a billionaire off of it.
We did the same with opera.
We found her on a local show called am chicago.
Everyone was looking to follow us in game shows and the number one game show company decided to move into a new genre, and that was talk.
What is it going to mean for the american viewer?
Are we going to see friday night at the flight -- friday night at the fights or boxing back on the television customer tell us what to expect.
I think you should see all of the above.
There was a time when the united states olympic team and the u.s. team, you sought on abc networks and the wide world of sports all the time.
The truth of the matter is the boxing industry has left the broadcast community and they've gone with pay-per-view.
Pay-per-view generates tremendous revenue for a few fighters that it doesn't build stars.
What i would like to see is i would like to see a lot more boxing on the commercial networks, basic networks like espn, and i would like to see all of the above where we have amateur competitions and a great weekly show.
And of course, mohammed ali became a superstar in prime time on abc and made howard cosell a star.
I think future superstars in boxing should be in prime time.
Periodically, they do a pay-per-view.
Opera launches the road network.
But i wonder, the notion of what is prime time and what is a network and what isn't is very different now, but for a lot of reasons you know better than i. cable, timeshifting and the way people watch things.
And talk to me about what hasn't worked with the own network.
First of, opera is a fantastic talent.
She is driven, she loves television.
She loves producing shows.
She decided after 25 years and our company distributed her show from the first show all the way through to the last show and it was a great relationship.
We still get along but i can't comment because i don't know what they are doing.
But i will tell you this.
If anybody is going to succeed, it's going to be opera.
Just getting back to boxing for a minute, do you think networks are prepared to have boxing as a controversial sport with concussions being a prevalent topic?
Our american viewers ready to embrace boxing like they once did?
I don't think there is any question.
First of all, there are a lot less injuries in boxing today than in football, but that doesn't make it right.
The truth of the matter is, what king sports wants to do is our number one priority is to help the athlete.
That means we are never going to put an athlete in the ring unless he's capable of competing at the level of talent and he has to be 100% physically and mentally prepared as well.
I think a lot of people have been injured in this sport because there's not enough oversight.
When you look at football and some of the other sports, athletes are primarily injured in training.
When you are a boxer preparing for a 10 round fight, that fight might not last more than one round, but they have to fight 100 rounds to care for that.
I think there should be a lot more oversight in the training and there should be more oversight in some of the previous fights that they've had and should not allow some fighters to fight if they have had a really difficult fight within three or four weeks.
A big story tomorrow, the supreme court is talking about area know and it's important deal for the smaller stations and this indication.
What is your take on this will and fighting for the right to broadcast local jails?
I have to say this hasn't been my battle because i haven't been working on the network level for a while.
But i have to say from what i understand, they are trying to pick up all the programming for zero money, zero license fees.
If you ask me if i think that's fair, i say hell no.
Held though it is.
Thank you very much.
Can i just say one thing?
The other gentleman, is washington broken?
Yes it is.
I would like to see michael bloomberg, bob iger, eric schmidt, jeff raises, always geniuses who are great americans, why don't we ring them into the cabinet like the business cabinet and allow these great americans to clear out
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