Boxing returns to network TV

July 2, 2012

The Sports Business Journal reports that NBC will bring back boxing to network television this December.  The return to network television comes at the same time as NBC renewed its “Fight Night” series for two years.

Via SBJ (subscription required):

The deal with promoter Main Events calls for at least eight dates on NBC Sports Network in 2013 and again in 2014, with two slots on NBC in each of those years. At least six of the NBC Sports Network dates each year will air in prime time on Saturday nights.

It’s likely that the NBC fight will be a Heavyweight encounter.  At this point, the network has reserved December 22nd from 4-6pm ET for the first possible fight.

The new deal includes rebroadcasts of Fight Night on Comcast Regional Sports Networks as well as “shoulder” programming to aid in introducing the featured fighters to the viewing audience.  The network sees the Fight Nights as a way to groom a fighter for the potential fo fighting on the network.

Payout Perspective:

Saturday “Fight Night” has been a success for NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) as it receives between 200,000 to 300,000 viewers which makes it one of the most watched shows on the network.  This may not say much considering the lack of must see shows on the network.  However, the organic growth of this product is a unique approach to building the product and sport.  Its not Pacquiao or Mayweather but this model may help create a loyal audience over time.  And, it appears that NBC is willing to take a chance on this strategy.  Obviously, the low cost of this strategy also helps with patience.

2 Responses to “Boxing returns to network TV”

  1. Diego on July 3rd, 2012 5:10 AM

    I DVR them. They’ve had some good fights. And if the fights aren’t good I fast forward them. I’m all for more free boxing, kickboxing and MMA.

  2. Sampson Simpson on July 3rd, 2012 8:50 AM

    It’s the business cycle playing out.

    Content got so cheap to acquire it’s a no brainer to get in the boxing game.

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