HBO's Boxing Break-Up

For decades, HBO was the preeminent television brand in boxing. The highest-rated fight in its history, a heavyweight title match between Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno on Feb. 25, 1989, did a 35.7 household rating, meaning more than a third of its subscribers watched that fight. It’s difficult for anyone who remembers HBO’s dominance in that era to reconcile its announcement Thursday that it is exiting the live boxing business. It’s like the New York Yankees announcing they are giving up on baseball. This, though, was not an overnight decision. The seeds were planted nearly 20 years ago, when HBO Sports president ........

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