Ross Greenburg was president of HBO Sports for more than a decade, from 2000 to 2011, before becoming a producer at Showtime. Over the years, he has cranked out numerous award-winning sports series and documentaries, and he’ll be the first to tell you: Boxing is a tough sport to cover.
From promoters to power brokers, boxing is a sport unlike any other. So if Greenburg is deciding between a boxing documentary or “A Season with Notre Dame Football,” which premiered Tuesday night, odds are he’s going to opt to work with college students.
“Pretty refreshing, I’ll tell you the truth,” Greenburg said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Every other league and sport, it’s pretty refreshing to deal with the professionals that you deal with at the NHL, the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NBA – it’s nice. I’ve dealt with those people for 35 years doing all the documentaries that we did and all the different shows like Real Sports and everything else that I did. But in today’s world, I still touch on boxing because at Showtime we’re obviously doing our all-access shows with Mr. Floyd Mayweather, who fights this Saturday for the last time. So I still dabble a little bit in boxing, but I don’t have to negotiate. I leave that up to Stephen Espinoza, who runs Showtime Sports. It’s his world to deal with these guys.”
And Greenburg’s got fewer gray hairs and wrinkles as a result.
“Yeah, I’m starting to really enjoy my life,” Greenburg said, chuckling. “After four years, it’s nice not to have to deal with that mess. It definitely gets to you. I had done it for 30 years, so I dealt with all those promoters and stuff and it gets to you over a period of time.”
Needless to say, Greenburg is really enjoying his time working on “A Season with Notre Dame Football,” which gives viewers an inside look at one of the most storied programs in college football. The Irish, ranked ninth, opened the season with a 38-3 win over Texas on Saturday.
“We’re glad we (chose Notre Dame),” Greenburg said. “It’s a heck of a defense. Coach Kelly has assembled a great group of ball players. We’ve got a lot of All-Americans on this football team and then a quarterback in Malik Zaire who delivered in the first week who was a question mark. So if that defense with nine returning studs can materialize the way it seems to be materializing – only giving up three points against Texas – God knows where this team can go.”