USA's "Ring of Fire" Without Commercials
USA NETWORK IGNITES RING OF FIRE TELEVISION EVENT WITH COMMERCIAL-FREE PREMIERE ON APRIL 20
SAAB Cars USA presents USA Network�s �Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story�
New York, NY � March 10, 2005 - USA Network, in an unprecedented programming move, will premiere its acclaimed Sundance Film Festival acquisition, Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story, without interruption on April 20th at 9 PM ET/PT, announced Bonnie Hammer, President of USA Network and SCI FI Channel. SAAB Cars USA will be the presenting sponsor of USA Network's first-ever uninterrupted, commercial-free telecast.
Directed by Dan Klores and Ron Berger, Ring of Fire is a moving story of love, violence and redemption that chronicles the life of six-time world boxing champion Emile Griffith, who in 1962 killed Benny "The Kid" Paret in the ring during a live telecast of the fight. Not only did the tragic bout have a lasting impact on the sport, it polarized the media, created political debate and left lives shattered in the balance.
"We knew that the best way to deliver the raw impact of this incredible film was to present it without interruption, without commercials," said Hammer. "I'm thrilled that SAAB Cars USA is partnering with us on this one-of-a-kind television event."
Ring of Fire explores the events of Griffith's life through compelling archival footage, interviews with champion boxers, journalists, historians and most movingly, through the reactions of members from both families. The film includes interviews with Paret's wife and son, as well as noted journalists and boxers of the day including: Jimmy Breslin, Pete Hamill, Neal Gabler, the late Jack Newfield, Charles Kaiser, Carmen Basilio, Jose Torres, Gene Fullmer and Juan LaPorte.
Griffith, who immigrated to New York City from the Virgin Islands in the late 1950s, quickly became a welterweight contender after winning a National Golden Glove championship. He was a rising star when he won the title from Paret, an illiterate Cuban exile who shared a huge boxing future with Griffith. Paret and Griffith fought a rematch bout in which Paret reclaimed the title but during the weigh-in of their rubber match, Paret stood beside his challenger and whispered in Griffith's ear "maric�n" � a Spanish epithet for homosexual. Griffith lunged at the Cuban champion in front of shocked onlookers, setting the stage for a brutal bout and a lifetime of haunting memories.
USA Network is cable television's leading provider of original series and feature movies, sports events, off-net television shows, and blockbuster theatrical films. USA Network is seen in over 88 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork.com.
USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.