Showtime has promoted Stephen Espinoza to president of its Sports and Event Programming group. Espinoza has led the pay-TV channel to its current position as champion of the (televised) boxing world.
“Simply stated, Stephen is the heavyweight champion of his profession,” said David Nevins, president and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc. “He is an innovator, equal parts thoughtful and tenacious, who has turned Showtime boxing into the market leader, while also driving excellence in our documentaries and sports series.”
In 2017, Showtime Sports produced 33 world championship fights and 71 live bouts in all — twice as many as any other outlet. And Showtime Championship Boxing has a TV lineup for the first six months of 2018 that will be the largest ever in the sport, the network touted Wednesday in a media release. Its calendar through June will feature 10 world-class events including 12 world title fights.
Under Espinoza’s eye, Showtime got a nice piece of the two most-watched pay-per-view events in history: (No. 1) 2015’s Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight and (No. 2) 2017’s Mayweather-Conor MacGregor bout.
Espinoza helped orchestrate one of the biggest deals in boxing history when Mayweather moved to Showtime in 2013 under a six-fight deal. Across seven events in four years with Mayweather, Showtime PPV has generated more than 14 million U.S. and Canada buys and over $1.2 billion in domestic pay-per-view revenue.
Prior to joining Showtime in late 2011, Espinoza was a partner in the firm of Ziffren Brittenham LLP, where he represented fighters Oscar De La Hoya and Mike Tyson.