US-based media conglomerate Paramount has announced it will shut down Showtime’s sports division at the end of the year.
- Paramount attribute decision to ‘evolving strategy’ across its business
- Showtime had broadcast boxing bouts for almost 38 years in the US, including high-profile fights featuring Floyd Mayweather Jr, Tyson Fury and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez
- Network also aired numerous sports documentaries and had an exclusive broadcast deal with the Bellator mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, which is owned by Paramount Global
- Showtime will air the two remaining boxing fights it has already committed to before ending operations at the end of 2023
Showtime was merged with the Paramount+ streaming service earlier this year, with the network’s priorities subsequently shifting to focus on its drama offerings instead of sports programming.
Paramount already has another sports division in CBS Sports, which has rights to the National Football League (NFL) and Uefa club soccer competitions. The network is expected to be the home of all sports content produced by the company going forward.
‘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.
‘Showtime will continue to air and support the remaining 2023 boxing slate and honour obligations through the end of the year. We want to express our deepest gratitude to our employees who have contributed to this award-winning sports programming over multiple decades.’