HBO opts out of showing Pacquiao fight

US pay-television broadcaster HBO has passed up the opportunity to show Manny Pacquiao’s November 5 clash with Jessie Vargas, despite having a multi-fight contract with the Filipino boxer.

According to the Forbes business news service, which spoke to Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, 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 said 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.

Arum told the RingTV.com website the fight would be distributed via pay-television operators Dish Network and DirecTV, but “now we’re working on a distribution partner to fill the role of HBO”.

Arum added: “Definitely it’s not going to be HBO. HBO had a contract and decided to pass, because it was two weeks in front of their Ward-Kovalev fight.”

Arum said that Showtime, ESPN and Turner are possible alternatives for the November 5 fight. A Showtime spokesman told Forbes that the broadcaster “would certainly entertain ideas if Top Rank were to reach out.”