NEW YORK — HBO is trying to woo younger viewers ringside with “KO Nation,” a new Saturday afternoon boxing series hosted by former MTV personality Ed Lover.
Oscar De La Hoya will serve as an expert analyst for the program, which will debut May 6. Created expressly to attract a new generation to boxing, “KO Nation” will feature cutting-edge music and dancers. The show, which will match up prizefighters from virtually every weight division, will tape at various venues, including college campuses.
“Today’s boxing audience is predominantly made up of men 50-plus. ‘KO Nation’ will be formatted with an innovative and contemporary production style, developed to appeal to younger viewers,” said Time Warner Sports president and CEO Seth Abraham.
In addition to hosting “KO,” Lover — best known as the former co-host of MTV’s “Yo! MTV Raps” — will also serve as the ring announcer. Fran Charles, sports anchor at New York’s WNBC, will call the blow-by-blow action and Julie Lederman, daughter of HBO’s “World Championship Boxing” judge Harold Lederman, will serve as the unofficial ringside scorer.
Ross Greenburg, senior VP and exec producer of HBO Sports, will exec-produce the show.