HBO to Discontinue Boxing Coverage in 2019

The network has determined that boxing is no longer a determining factor for subscribing to HBO.
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HBO will no longer cover professional boxing as of 2019, HBO announced in a statement Thursday.

HBO has covered 1,111 fights in its 45 years of boxing broadcasting. The network has no boxing coverage scheduled beyond the middleweight title fight between Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 27 to close out coverage at the end of 2018.

"Boxing has been part of our heritage for decades. During that time, the sport has undergone a transformation. It is now widely available on a host of networks and streaming services," HBO said in a statement. "There is more boxing than ever being televised and distributed.  In some cases, this programming is very good. But from an entertainment point of view, it's not unique. Going forward in 2019, we will be pivoting away from programming live boxing on HBO."

HBO added: "We're deeply indebted to the many courageous fighters whose careers we were privileged to cover."

The network's boxing coverage has featured famed fighters like Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya and Mike Tyson, who headlined 16 HBO telecasts. 

The decision to exit the boxing business comes as HBO competitors including ESPN, Fox Sports, Showtime and DAZN are increasing their own boxing coverage.. HBO has covered countless historic and controversial fights, but with waning subscriber demand and increased coverage outside of HBO, the company will call it quits come 2019.

"This is not a subjective decision,” executive vice president of HBO Sports Peter Nelson said in a recent interview with the New York Times. “Our audience research informs us that boxing is no longer a determinant factor for subscribing to HBO."