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Mayweather vs Maidana 2 PPV start time: Showtime makes big tweak for customer experience

Lee Cleveland Updated
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When at least two of the three pay-per-view (PPV) undercard bouts go the distance, the main event usually takes place pretty late on the east coast, especially when all of the fights are scheduled for twelve rounds. In such cases, the marquee bout typically starts after midnight and sometimes not until 12:30 am on the east coast.

As a result, fans on the east coast and in the central time zone, essentially 80% of the U.S. population, are sometimes forced to stay up till the wee hours of the morning to learn what happened in the big fight.

Decision: The September 13 fight card, Mayweather vs Maidana 2, will start at 8pm ET, one hour earlier than what is typical for boxing PPVs.

“It is to improve the customer experience,” according to Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Sports, Stephen Espinoza.

“After discussing it with our distributors it seemed like a no-brainer." “The West Coast is already used to early evening start times with other major sporting events.”

And according to Espinoza, boxing's biggest star and sports' highest paid athlete supports the change.

“Floyd is an innovator. If there is a new idea that can expand the boxing audience or elevate the sport or change the presentation in a positive way, he is all for it,” says Espinoza.

Although Showtime cites 'customer experience' as its primary reason for the tweak in start time, could there be another, perhaps, weightier reason?

It's common knowledge among fight enthusiasts two of Mayweather's three fights under the Showtime network, to at least some degree, underperformed.

The cable company insists Mayweather vs Robert Guerrero in May 2013 yielded only one million buys and failed to disclose official figures for Mayweather va Maidana last May.

Experts surmise that fight card generated 850,000 to one million buys, modest numbers by Floyd Mayweather PPV standards.

But Espinoza asserts the presumed less-than-stellar PPV buyrate had no role in the decision-making process.

"If we weren’t happy with the buys for the Maidana fight in May, we wouldn’t be going to an immediate rematch four months later,” he says.

“The Mayweather deal has been an unqualified success for the network in every respect: from the content perspective, from the live event perspective, from a financial perspective and from a PR perspective.”

Will you be impacted by the new start time?

Mayweather vs Maidana 2
Date: September 13, 2014
Time: 8pm ET (Actual start time may be closer to 11 pm ET)
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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