HBO, Boxing Miss With YouTube Complaint

    May 8, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The fight that’s supposed to save boxing, Mayweather versus De La Hoya, ended up on YouTube, swiftly followed by a takedown request from HBO. It’s a missed opportunity for lots of potential boxing fans.

Clips of the video from the May 5th bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Oscar de la Hoya appeared on YouTube after the fight. HBO acted quickly to protect their exclusive rights to the rebroadcast, and demanded they be taken off the video sharing site.

Mashable writer Kristen Nicole noted the AP account of the decision. YouTube removed the content at the request of the cable network.

If HBO and the various individuals who infest the world of boxing want to try and reclaim a generation of fans they have lost, banning clips of a reasonably entertaining bout as heavily hyped as Mayweather-De La Hoya was isn’t the way to do it.

The current generation of connected would-be fans probably think people like Klitschko, Valuev, and Maskaev were former Soviet Union bureaucrats, rather than current and recent heavyweight champions. Boxers like them could use some more exposure.

HBO, Showtime, and the various boxing promoters who seem more inclined to have their fighters duck tough fights ought to try taking advantage of the online video sharing craze. Having a couple of the better rounds of Mayweather’s win on YouTube couldn’t possibly force HBO into bankruptcy.

There are a lot of problems with boxing, many of which are self-inflicted. Getting more visibility for their best prospects, and their better bouts, could go some ways toward building more interest.

Otherwise boxing promoters like Don King and Bob Arum, not to mention HBO, will continue to see a younger audience put their pay-per-view dollars towards mixed martial arts matches like the upcoming Chuck Liddell-Rampage Jackson rematch.

HBO is too worried about what they might lose today with fight clips on YouTube. We’re inclined to think the viral buzz potential from YouTube would build interest among viewers HBO might not attract without it.