Ken Hershman Leaves Showtime and Takes Over as HBO Sports President

October 13, 2011

Showtime sports leader Ken Hershman has stepped down from the cable network and will now accept a role as the president of HBO Sports instead.

Variety brought details about the deal on Thursday.

According to several sources, Hershman stepped down in his role at Showtime to accept a similar position at HBO Sports.

The HBO job was opened up after longtime head Ross Greenburg left the cable giant after issues arose when he struggled to secure boxing pay-per-rights to the recent fight between pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley.

Hershman meanwhile had been at Showtime for almost two decades in some role or another, and had taken over the sports division in 2003.

During his tenure with Showtime, Hershman brought the cable network several shows and promotions, but for MMA fans maybe nothing bigger than his continue relationship with growing and promoting mixed martial arts.

Hershman championed getting MMA on Showtime and was involved in several key deals including bringing Strikeforce to the cable network just a couple of years ago.

The exit of Hershman from Showtime does bring about many questions regarding the network’s current negotiations with Zuffa regarding Strikeforce. UFC President Dana White had recently said that they hoped to have a decision made about the promotion’s future within the next month, but meetings had been delayed recently.

Hershman’s exit may explain part of those delays.

The other side of this is Hershman’s continued support of MMA could bring the sport to HBO, a network that has never featured mixed martial arts as part of their programming.

There are sure to be more details regarding Hershman’s arrival at HBO as well as his potential replacement at Showtime surfacing in the coming days.

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