When Top Rank promoter Bob Arum made a deal with Showtime and sister network CBS last month to handle the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley pay-per-view bout, he said he cut HBO out of the deal in order to foster broadcast network attention to boxing.
Arum always had been intrigued by the potential of 116 million homes that have CBS and CBS' relationship with premium cable network Showtime, compared to the 30 million or so homes that have HBO.
The fruits of Arum's labor were realized Thursday when Showtime and CBS announced that three of the four episodes that Showtime is producing of the documentary series "Fight Camp 360°: Pacquiao vs. Mosley" will air on CBS, including one in prime time on May 7 -- hours before the fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The series will follow the buildup to Pacquiao's welterweight title defense against former champion Mosley, with both camps providing behind-the-scenes access.
"This series will open a lot of eyes and surprise casual television viewers as well as boxing enthusiasts," said Ken Hershman, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports. "These athletes are global personalities who transcend sports, and their path to an event of this scope is complex, provocative and quite entertaining.
"From Pacquiao's home and life as a congressman in the Philippines to Mosley's high-altitude training camp in Big Bear, Calif., and into the offices of Top Rank Inc. in Las Vegas, Fights Camp 360°: Pacquiao vs. Mosley will turn a powerful backstage spotlight on this marquee boxing event."
Showtime launched the "Fight Camp" franchise last year to follow the lives and buildup to the matches and business side of its ongoing Super Six World Boxing Classic, a six-man tournament featuring most of the world's top super middleweights.
The Pacquiao-Mosley series kicks off April 2 at noon ET on CBS just before the network's coverage of the NCAA Final Four begins. The first episode will replay on Showtime on April 16 (10 p.m. ET). The second episode will air on Showtime on April 23 (10 p.m. ET/PT), and the third will air at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
The finale will debut on May 6 on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT), with a CBS replay at 2 p.m. ET on May 7, several hours before Pacquiao and Mosley touch gloves.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.