USA Drops Ads for Debut


In a first for the cable channel, USA Network will air its premiere of Sundance Film Festival documentary Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story commercial-free.

Ring of Fire is about the boxing champ who killed an opponent in the ring in a live televised bout in 1962.
"We knew that the best way to deliver the raw impact of this incredible film was to present it without interruption, without commercials," said USA Network President Bonnie Hammer.

That move comes courtesy of SAAB, which will be the presenting sponsor of the film.

Saab will get 70 seconds--a 60-second spot and 10-second "presented by"--at the beginning and end of the film.

The film will likely invoke memories from younger baby boomers of  a televised Ray Mancini fight 20 years later, when his opponent, Korean fighter Du Ku Kim, died after being knocked out by Mancini.