Manny Pacquiao knocked out on ESPN
Manny Pacquiao got knocked out and fell face-first on the canvas, courtesy of a Juan Manuel Marquez right hand to the kisser on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Witnessing that shot on HBO pay-per-view didn't have to cost viewers any money either -- and no, we're not talking about illegal streaming online.
All viewers needed to do was be awake after 1 a.m. and tuned into ESPN's SportsCenter, which showed actual video highlights of the knockout, and the previous knockdowns.
For most long-time boxing viewers, that might have seemed odd, since the norm has always been the use of still photos instead of actual video of pay-per-view bouts. It was to protect the sanctity of the pay-per-view dollar.
Not so anymore, it seems.
Back in September, ESPN and HBO Sports announced a programming and marketing agreement that gives both media outlets increase exposure and usage rights. The partnership began with the Sept. 15 fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez.
But Pacquiao's name travels farther than those two fighters, so Saturday night's fight likely increased the exposure of this deal for many viewers.
Before the fight, Marquez and Pacquiao each gave on-air locker-room interviews to ESPN personnel. Video highlights then aired after the fight on SportsCenter.
The cross-coverage goes beyond just that, and you can read about it in their release.