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[10/04/04 - 12:00 AM]
The Next Great Champ' Becomes Fsn Heavyweight

[via press release from FOX]

THE NEXT GREAT CHAMP BECOMES FSN HEAVYWEIGHT

Unscripted Series Finds New Home on National Sports Cable Network

Fox Sports Net, a longtime supporter of boxing on Sunday nights, gets a heavyweight shot in the arm beginning Sunday, Oct. 10, when FOX's power-packed unscripted series THE NEXT GREAT CHAMP moves to the national sports cable network.

That evening, FSN has scheduled a marathon of THE NEXT GREAT CHAMP, which enables viewers to catch up with the hard-hitting series produced by eight-time World Champion Oscar De La Hoya and television powerhouse Endemol USA. Episodes one through four, each one hour, make their cable premiere beginning at 5:00 PM local time on FSN regional sports networks from coast to coast. Episode four is being repeated at 9:00 PM local time on Monday, Oct. 11. Six days later, on Sunday, Oct. 17, at 6:00 PM local time, previously un-aired episodes premiere, and continue in this, the show's new regular time slot, through Sunday, Nov. 14. Each new episode is also being repeated Sunday night at midnight, and the following Monday at 9:00 PM local time. Given the move to FSN, Endemol, De La Hoya's Golden Boy Productions and the network are in discussions concerning the blockbuster THE NEXT GREAT CHAMP finale, details of which will be announced at a later date.

"THE NEXT GREAT CHAMP is a compelling, well-produced series. Unfortunately, despite its loyal core audience, the underlying boxing theme of the series has proved too narrow for us," said Gail Berman, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. "In the end, it belongs on an outlet better suited to serve the boxing fan, and it's great that we can keep it in the family on FSN."

"FSN welcomes THE NEXT GREAT CHAMP with open arms," said George Greenberg, FSN Executive Vice President, Programming & Production. "FSN has done well with SUNDAY NIGHT FIGHTS, and the recent BEST DAMN SPORTS SHOW PERIOD special that featured a live primetime heavyweight bout was the show's highest-rated program ever. We plan to promote the series heavily on FSN, and expect it to do very well for us."

"We are proud of the production quality and storytelling of THE NEXT GREAT CHAMP," said David Goldberg, President of Endemol USA. "We are disappointed the program did not rate as well as we had hoped, but we are grateful for having a second shot on FSN where it will attract an audience that truly appreciates boxing."

De La Hoya and Endemol USA have joined forces for a show that is turning young, raw boxers into top prizefighters. Eight of the original 12 hopefuls remain, and are pushing themselves to the limit as they train and slug it out in hopes of winning every fighter's ultimate dream. Each fighter has been joined on his journey by someone from his personal life � a wife, a friend, a girlfriend, brother or other family member. These personal relationships have proven to add tension, drama and a rare first-hand opportunity for viewers to see the intense sport of pugilism through the eyes of a non-boxer.

The fighters are preparing under the guidance of legendary trainers Lou Duva, who has trained a long list of champions such as three-time Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield, and Tommy Brooks, who is one of boxing's leading trainers, having worked with former Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson. Along the way, De La Hoya serves as a mentor, friend and motivator.

THE NEXT GREAT CHAMP is produced by Endemol USA, a leading producer of television programming specializing in reality and non-scripted genres for network and cable television, in association with Golden Boy Promotions. THE NEXT GREAT CHAMP is executive-produced by Paul Buccieri, Joe Livecchi, Oscar De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer. David Goldberg is President of Endemol USA.

Golden Boy Promotions is entering its third year and is America's most innovative and fastest-growing boxing company. With eight-time World Champion Oscar De La Hoya at the helm, the Los Angeles-based company will promote over 40 shows in 2004, airing on major networks such as HBO PPV, HBO LATINO, ESPN AND TELEFUTURA.

FSN reaches more than 82 million homes through its network of 20 regional sports channels. Established in 1996, FSN is the only cable network that supplies national, regional and local sports programming. FSN serves as the cable TV home to 63 of the 81 MLB, NHL and NBA teams based in the United States, and produces over 4,700 live events each year. FSN has an extensive catalog of original national programs, including BEST DAMN SPORTS SHOW PERIOD; I, MAX; THE SPORTS LIST; and BEYOND THE GLORY documentary series, along with national packages of collegiate sports and NASCAR related shows. Based in Los Angeles, FSN is a service of "National Sports Partners," a partnership between FOX and Cablevision's Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. For the latest up-to-the-minute sports news and opinions, visit the FOX Sports/FSN website at www.FoxSports.com.





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· NEXT GREAT CHAMP, THE (FOX)











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