Cablevision's by-round plan draws critics

November 09, 1996|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

LAS VEGAS -- Fight fans vented their anger after having to spend close to $50 for pay-per-view telecasts to witness Mike Tyson dispatch Peter McNeeley, Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon in less than three rounds, so they have been offered a money-back guarantee for tonight's heavyweight match against Evander Holyfield.

Cablevision, operating out of New York, will charge only $9.95 per round, up to a maximum of $49.75 for five rounds or more.

The cable industry views this as a strong marketing tool to recruit a greater base of fight fans, but the idea of rebates does not sit well with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and rival television executives.

"We're upset about it and trying to make certain it won't happen again," said Marc Ratner, the commission's director. "It's the perception we don't like. It puts too much pressure on the fighters, ringside doctors and the referee."

Promoter Don King was quick to point out that Tyson is getting a flat-purse guarantee of $30 million and would not profit by extending the fight for TV.

Ratner went so far as to get affidavits signed by Tyson, Holyfield and Showtime, which sold the pay-per-view rights, that they have no proprietary interest in Cablevision.

"It's still a bad precedent," said Lou DiBella, vice president of Time Warner Sports.

Rahman KOs Sargent in 1st

Promising unbeaten heavyweight Hasim Rahman, of Baltimore, hardly worked up a sweat last night in knocking out journeyman Brian Sargent, of Minnesota, at 1: 24 of the first round of their scheduled eight-round bout.

Rahman, 24, caught Sargent (9-8) with a straight right and finished the job with a short left hook. It raised his record to 19-0 with 16 knockouts.

Pub Date: 11/09/96

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