Matt Blank, Chairman and CEO of Showtime

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, February 20, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Joining me now, the man who is broadcasting the Tyson-Etienne fight. He's got the pressure on him. Matt Blank is the chairman and CEO of Showtime.

Matt good to see you.

MATT BLANK, CHMN. & CEO, SHOWTIME: Hi, Neil, how are you?

CAVUTO: So this is going to happen.

BLANK: I think so, I think so. It's looking good right now. I was going to show up with a FOX News tattoo on my face, but I decided that might...

CAVUTO: Well, you must have been thinking, when you heard the flu excuse or whatever it was, oh, my gosh.

BLANK: Well, we never cancel our hotel reservations when we hear something like that. And this is boxing.

CAVUTO: Did you make a call and just say, hey, Mike, I mean, come on, we've got this big shindig.

BLANK: I did not make that call. I never make that call.

CAVUTO: Did any of your people make that call?

BLANK: I think we made that call. I think that Mike received a lot of calls. And Mike is there. He's feeling good. He looks in good shape in the news conference. We think we should always have him appear with his son.

CAVUTO: The kid was cute. Although the kid kept looking at the tattoo, what was that all about?

BLANK: Well, wouldn't you?

CAVUTO: Yeah. Yeah. All right. That's true. Now one of the arguments of the tattoo is that it is a new sort of marketing gimmick. It's going to make him look more menacing. More people will tune in. What's this?

BLANK: I am not sure that Mike Tyson ever woke up and said he didn't look menacing enough. I don't think that was a problem.

CAVUTO: So he didn't run the tattoo thing by you?

BLANK: No, he definitely didn't run it by us. And you can't get into Mike's head.

CAVUTO: OK. Now in the meantime, you have got a lot going on this same night. This isn't just a fight, this is Tonya Harding, you've got a concert going on. You've got a lot riding on this.

BLANK: We've got the Jay-Z concert that night, one of the biggest hip-hop stars out there. I know until a few minutes ago you thought Jay-Z was a stock symbol.

CAVUTO: I was trying to punch it up.

BLANK: But Jay-Z is a superstar. We have a terrific event live from Memphis that night. We're doing the Tyson fight in high definition. So it's a big night for us.

CAVUTO: It is live on Showtime?


CAVUTO: It is, OK. A lot of people are wondering whether Tyson is the draw he used to be, and what? he's fought an average of what? five rounds, really, for the year over the last five years.

BLANK: No. You are absolutely right.

CAVUTO: So I mean, is he a draw? or are you stuck with a lemon?

BLANK: I think he is still the draw in the heavyweight class.

CAVUTO: What does that say? What does that say?

BLANK: The Lennox Lewis-Tyson fight was the biggest pay-per-view event ever. And I think it was because of Mike Tyson.

CAVUTO: So you think it's a given that if he does OK in this fight or beats this Etienne guy or whatever, he is set up to fight Lennox Lewis.

BLANK: I think there would be a rematch with Lennox Lewis.

CAVUTO: Would that be a Showtime event?

BLANK: It will be an event just like the last one where you see Showtime do the pay-per-view together.

CAVUTO: How does that work? Do you guys have food tasters? You both hate each other.

BLANK: It actually worked very well. No food tasters that time around.

CAVUTO: OK. So let's say, your own prediction of the fight, obviously Tyson is ahead by what? a 7 to 1 favorite here, but he can be unpredictable, if he loses, it's all over, isn't it?

BLANK: That is why people will tune into a fight where Tyson is a very heavy favorite, this is boxing. We will see what happens. But it should be a great night on Showtime.

CAVUTO: Yeah. You talk about me, I can't picture you at this concert. You're going to be there?

BLANK: I'm going to be there.

CAVUTO: Yeah. All right. All right. Matt Blank, thank you very much, Showtime chairman and CEO. Boy, he has made that a happening place, hasn't he?

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