Star Boxing goes Facebook Live
If you don’t have a ticket to Star Boxing’s latest promotion from the Mohegan Sun, in Uncasville, Connecticut, all you need is an internet connection and Facebook tonight. This card – dubbed “Slugfest at the Sun” featuring Delvin Rodriguez vs. Courtney Pennington – will be streamed on Facebook Live.
There was a time not too long ago when Star Boxing would promote cards of this nature on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” or another developmental platform. However, in recent years, those avenues have been closed off. That said, those within the business have had to adapt and adjust.
And this is where modern technology comes into play.
“Absolutely, and I think it’s the future of the sport, a perfect, perfect outlet for things like social media, looking to get content and giving a different medium,” said Star Boxing President and CEO Joe DeGuardia. “And boxing has always been on the forefront of every single new medium we’ve had. So why not go to the forefront of social media/broadcasting?”
This isn’t new to boxing but it’s certainly something that is becoming more and more prevalent at all different levels of the sport. Earlier this year, Showtime and Twitter streamed the card featuring the main event between Adrien Broner versus Adrian Granados. Banner Promotions made a deal in April to stream the WBO lightweight title tilt between Terry Flanagan and Petr Petrov on Twitter. Currently, Top Rank Promotions regularly streams its undercards, as does Golden Boy Promotions via RingTV.com. And Thompson Boxing Promotions will start utilizing Facebook Live to broadcast all their cards beginning next week.
“Necessity is the mother of all evil and it’s the mother of all inventions too,” said DeGuardia, laughing. “When you have the networks where they are, right now, and the scarcity of dates and real estate, to be able to go to a new form of media is great because you have to do it. You have to find things; you have to be creative. You have to be inventive. But with that being in mind, the reality is what better way to hit the audience that’s a younger generation, that’s an audience we want to build and expand our fan-base? And it’s the polar opposite of doing a pay-per-view event. It gives us the ability to reach many, many more people.”
For years, the boxing demographic has continually skewed older (which scared off many potential sponsors) and cord cutting is now a huge issue. The reach of traditional television is not what it once was. Also, the younger generation doesn’t watch all that much content on the boob tube.
DeGuardia, who has children, states, “Television is for the old guys like us. Young kids, they’re on the phones; they’re on their iPads. They’re watching Netflix. They don’t have these traditional channels that we had growing up. When we grew up we had channel 2, channel 4, channel 5, channel 7, channel 9 and 11. That’s what I had in New York – and once-in-awhile, when the static was OK, channel 13.
“Now it’s a whole different world and they don’t need to see the television. They can see it right in the palms of their hands.”
This broadcast – which will be called by “Baby” Ray Flores, Michael Woods and Cara Castronuova – will not just be a one-off for Star Boxing.
“We’re going to make this a regular occurrence,” said DeGuardia, who, throughout the years, has been able to develop Joe Smith Jr. and Chris Algieri, mostly through cards staged at the Paramount Theatre, which will host their next promotion in June. “We expect many, many of these shows.”
DeGuardia adds, “We’re going to be doing something else on that show, which is also novel – which is a lot more fan interaction. We’re going to have a lot fan engagement and interaction, so when the live event is being broadcast on Facebook, they can communicate directly. There will be a lot of innovative things and the Paramount fits that well.”
The bottom line is you can’t be Blockbuster Video in a Netflix world. Streaming fights is nothing new. The difference is now the actual powers that be are now fully embracing and utilizing this platform.
Historically boxing has always embraced the newest technology.
“The reality is we fit well with these different outlets and, years ago, when radio was first on the scene, it was boxing that they had on the radio. When television first came out, they had Gillette (as a sponsor) – and this was before my times – but TV was big for boxing. What happened after that? We went to closed-circuit. Boxing was again on the forefront of that. After that, you had cable television, then premium cable TV and ultimately the big source of revenue was pay-per-view. And we all know boxing spearheaded that effort on the pay-per-view in sports. Now, why not that new medium?” asked DeGuardia rhetorically.
“That new medium is the social media connection with broadcasting. The streaming is now quick enough that you can see it now like you’re watching television.”
From the press release for those interested:
“FIGHTNIGHT LIVE is available online at: https://www.facebook.com/FaceFIGHTNIGHTLIVE/
“Follow all the action via social media at FaceFIGHTNIGHTLIVE on Facebook, @FaceFIGHTNIGHTLIVE on Instagram and @FIGHTNIGHTLIVE_ on Twitter, or @STARBOXING on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and by using the hashtags #FIGHTNIGHTLIVE and #SlugfestAtTheSun. For ticket information and updates on upcoming Star Boxing events please log on to StarBoxing.com. For the latest Linacre Media events and broadcast schedule, follow @LinacreMedia across all social platforms or use the tags #LinacreMediaEvents or #LinacreMediaOnTV.”
This stream begins at 7:30 p.m. ET…Doug Fischer and I filmed another episode of “Between the Ropes” for RingTV.com, in which “El Presidente” Eric Gomez, of Golden Boy Promotions, gave us details and insight on the Saul Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin deal. Should be out by Thursday evening..I think Lil Bow Wow needs to get off social media…OK, when do we get our Southern California weather back?…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.