Steve Goodwin stresses “reality” concept for TV agreement; reveals other promoters’ negativity towards deal

Posted: July 29, 2012 in Interviews
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Steve Goodwin

STEVE Goodwin insists a more competitive TV landscape is good for boxing – but revealed most promoters were “negative” towards his new deal with Primetime.

Goodwin’s first televised show is on September 15 at York Hall, a huge seven-hour event of which two-and-a-half hours will be televised.

Crucially for the Bedfordshire-based promoter, access to the action will be free for viewers whose current choices are occasional broadcastss on Channel 5 or more regular offerings on subscription channels Sky Sports and BoxNation.

Goodwin’s other trick for hooking the viewer to tune in to the relatively small channel is a promise that they will see much more than in-ring action.

“Mick Hennessy is on Channel 5 now but his problem is that viewers don’t know the real people behind the fights. You need to make it about more than just the event,” Goodwin told LincBoxing.

“The longer-term strategy for us is creating a reality TV concept, the type of thing where people can get to know the boxers.

“The general reaction to the news has been negative. You can see they (other promoters) are not happy. But I’m not interested in people who’ve been in boxing for about 20 years and who now want to work with me. However, there have been one or two who I thought would be unhappy, but were actually brilliant.

“I don’t know enough about boxing politics, I only came into the game two years ago, but you can’t just follow tradition.

“This has happened because this idea has not come from boxing, it’s just marketing, and thinking outside the box. Other promoters are waiting for Sky to open their doors to them.

“Frank Maloney has had to jump on board with his arch-enemy Frank Warren (Maloney’s boxers, including heavyweight David Price, will fight on BoxNation shows).

“Our ultimate goal is getting on terrestrial television. I remember watching Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn and Frank Bruno through the 80s and 90s – everyone remembered their fights. Then, Audley Harrison came along and took the BBC to the cleaners. It’s been difficult ever since.

“People won’t pay £10 to get BoxNation, a lot of people cannot afford Sky Sports. With us, you can watch for free, so it’s about building a brand so that you can make a difference.”

Despite his stance on Harrison’s relationship with the BBC, Goodwin believes it was his offer and the Olympic gold medallist’s subsequent fight against Ali Adams which propelled him to securing the television deal.

Harrison defeated Adams via fourth-round stoppage on a show at the Brentwood Centre, in May.

“There was lot of ‘he doesn’t know what he is doing, he’s not a boxing person’,” said Goodwin.

“When I announced that I was going to get Audley Harrison they said I couldn’t do it.

“But now we can go back to people and say that we have produced. That enabled me to get to the next stage – I don’t think a TV company would have wanted to got on board with us, without having promoted that fight.

“At the moment, boxers fight on small-hall shows for no money. If the situation stays the same, in two years’ time they will still be fighting on small hall shows for no money.

“The boxers are going to benefit all the way along here with the exposure they can get people and businesses to support them.

“For example, I have (heavyweight) Ian Lewison. He was a really good amateur, he beat Robert Helenius, he fought David Price.

“But he is a lazy professional, so now we have sent him to (trainer) Don Charles. He would be an ideal one (to build around) if we can get him motivated.

“The first show will be standard, nothing different than we’d normally do, but we’ll have Richard Commey fighting Kris Hughes, plus Dillian Whyte and many other good bouts.

“Everyone knows that there is a monopoly on television in boxing. I think Matchroom Sports do a great job and it’s fantastic for Sky but boxing is poorer for it.

“With us, it’s about building the brand and getting exposure for the guys. Because I’m an outsider, nobody knows what I’m going to do next, and that’s exciting.”

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