Minutes after Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum told the Associated Press that Showtime and HBO have resolved differences to stage a joint pay-per-view broadcast for the welterweight world title fight, being planned for May 2 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, another official involved in the talks balked at that assessment.
The television official, talking under the condition of anonymity because of an agreement to not disclose deal points publicly, told the Los Angeles Times there are “a handful of meaningful network and fighter/promoter issues remaining.”
Showtime has two fights remaining on a 30-month contract with Mayweather, while HBO airs Pacquiao’s bouts on pay-per-view.
Neither the television agreement nor fighter contracts have been signed.
The television official agreed the conversations to stage the long-anticipated are narrowing, but made it clear there is still work to do, as often happens in working to finalize a deal – the final points can require the most work.
“We’re down to them and haven’t resolved them in the last week,” the official said. “Discussions continue and each of those issues is important. There are still some fundamental points remaining.”
Arum told AP, “We had four issues and we resolved two. Now we're working on resolving the other two. Unless something else comes up at the last minute, that's what my take is.
“There's a lot of devil in the details and that's what we're sorting through now. The remaining issues are obviously important to the participants, and are things we have to work out.”
Contacted by The Times, Arum added, “I believe the issues are being resolved – everything.”
The television deal was moving toward a sharing of network talent.
Although not finalized, Thursday’s talks closed with CBS/Showtime's James Brown designated as the fight host, with HBO’s Jim Lampley serving as play-by-play broadcaster, Showtime’s Al Bernstein as lead analyst, with HBO’s Max Kellerman and Showtime’s Jim Gray assigned to fighter interviews.
Reached by telephone, Lampley said he has not been informed of any Mayweather-Pacquiao assignment.
While one official told The Times the networks have agreed that each will broadcast a fight replay, the television official also said that element was not finished.