USA to drop Tuesday Night Fights

by Pedro Fernandez

They say it ain't over until the "Fat Lady" sings. But in the world of cable and network television, major decisions regarding programing are made months in advance.

And USA Cable has decided to drop it's Tuesday Night fight series with the last two hour show to air in August.

The power players at USA Cable have long wanted to dump the profitable series which has been on the air for 17 years. And it was just last year that USA had tried cutting the program back to one hour. That experiment was a bust and lasted only a month.

The problem here is that the "Tuesday Night Fights" stand in direct contrast to the programing USA would like to be airing in that Tuesday slot from 9 to 11 PM.

The exec's want sitcoms and two hour movie specials. It is their intent to remove the "cable stigma" from the network, hoping to jump in line behind the "Big 4" which recently had to admit Rupert Murdoch and FOX to the exclusive club of NBC, ABC, and CBS.

So network heads are willing to sacrifice ratings in order to make USA seem more like the others. When boxing coordinator Brad Jacobs was asked this week to "confirm or deny" the reports USA was able to KO it's boxing program, he refused to do either.

In it's early days USA Cable first attracted the masses with the Tuesday Night Fight series and a couple of WWF wrestling shows. And these are the only two programs USA started with and still has today. The boxing ratings have always been good--if not great! And USA has never had a problem attaining sponsors for the shows.

But image in this instance will knockout both a tradition---and a money maker. It's a tough price to pay, but it's one those polyester suits at USA are more than willing to pay to achieve their image enhancement.

Pedro Fernandez

Ring Talk News Service

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