Spike TV Looking to Add Boxing to Strengthen Post-UFC Schedule

While Manny Pacquiao won't be fighting on Spike TV, Bob Arum has to be happy about the potential new deal.

UFC events and The Ultimate Fighter were the premier programming on Spike TV for a number of years. Now, with the UFC leaving the network for a number of reasons (better exposure at Fox and too expensive for Spike) the network is looking to strengthen it's programming schedule. They've already inked a deal to carry Bellator Fighting Championships programming in 2013 and now they are turning to boxing promoter Bob Arum and Top Rank Inc. according to RingTV.

As Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook explains, these aren't likely to be huge shows but should be solid efforts:

Most likely this would be a series similar to Top Rank Live, which currently airs on FSN and Fox Deportes, as I wouldn't expect Spike to be going in deep on money to produce big fights. At its best, Top Rank Live produces some very good shows with lower-weight fighters in action bouts, and gives looks at prospects like Mercito Gesta or Diego Magdaleno.

The real takeaway here is that Spike really learned the value of live programming from their time with the UFC and while Bellator or smaller Top Rank boxing shows aren't likely to do huge numbers, they provide them with unique, relatively cheap programming that can be reran at length.

This move combined with Showtime showing more strength in terms of making plays for big fights such as their outbidding of HBO for Berto/Ortiz II and a new boxing series launching on NBC Sports show that there is some major movement happening in the boxing world.

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