Promoter Bob Arum confirmed HBO’s exit and shared the news with Ring TV. Arum said HBO’s decision means that the pay-television broadcaster could miss out on showing a possible super-fight rematch between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Junior.
Arum explained that HBO had voided the contract, with the bout’s promoter now on the look-out for a replacement pay-per-view service for the November 5 contest.
It is thought that HBO did not want to saturate the pay-per-view market after having already committed to another major PPV event, the Andre Ward v Sergey Kovalev fight on November 19.
“In my opinion, they have an obligation to distribute this fight,” Arum told the Los Angeles Times in a telephone conversation from a vacation in Aspen, Colo.
“The fact that they passed means the contract is over, it seems clear to me. They can’t pick and choose which fights they are going to distribute. They’re either in breach of contract or they’ve ended the contract. My feeling is, based my legal background, is that the contract is terminated.”
HBO officials wouldn’t comment publicly on the matter beyond saying the network “has an (existing) agreement with Top Rank and Manny Pacquiao.”
Arum’s company, Top Rank, has contacted Turner Sports about distributing the pay-per-view broadcast, and plans to pursue talks with ESPN and Showtime.