NBC Fight Night on NBC: 1.6 million viewers

January 2, 2013

ESPN reports the ratings for NBC’s Fight Night which aired on network television on December 22nd scored 1.6 million viewers for a 1.2 rating.  It was the second week of boxing on network television as CBS carried a fight card the week before.

The main event featured a controversial ending as heavyweights Steve Cunningham and Tomasz Adamek put on a nice fight that went to the score cards.  It was initially announced as a majority draw but under further review, one of the score cards was announced incorrectly with Adamek winning the bout.  It was an unfortunate end to what was a well-produced show.

Payout Perspective:

The fights aired from 1pm-3pm on the west coast and went up against college football bowl games and college basketball.  The overall product was well done as NBC introduced the fighters and their backstories which presented compelling information about the main event fighters.   Notably, they did a nice job of talking about Cunningham’s daughter needing a heart transplant.  The Fight Night series should be here to stay on NBC Sports Network as the network has experienced low ratings and this content should help boost them.  As for its network appearance, the ratings are good considering that the Saturday, December 22nd event was at a time that many would be out doing last minute shopping.

21 Responses to “NBC Fight Night on NBC: 1.6 million viewers”

  1. Weezy02 on January 3rd, 2013 2:55 AM

    Very good numbers. 2011 and 2012 were good years for boxing in the U.S. Boxing writer Steve Kim mentioned that he hopes that a network takes a chance on a substantial deal with boxing so that boxing can move away from reliance on HBO and SHOWTIME.

  2. Sampson Simpson on January 3rd, 2013 7:13 AM

    It had 3.5 million viewers by the end of the broadcast said Sports Illustrated

  3. Felix on January 3rd, 2013 9:10 AM

    Well, if that 3.5m number turns out to be true, we can expect a lot more boxing on NBC in 2013. CBS will literally be kicking themselves if boxing got that kind of number for what basically was a small hall show with little marketing or expense, when they just poured several hundred millions into a a UFC deal and draw only slightly more viewers. That said, I did catch the second half of the fight and thought it was great. I’ll watch that kind of fight again anytime.

  4. Tops of on January 3rd, 2013 3:27 PM

    I’m waiting for brain smashers comments.lol

  5. Sampson Simpson on January 3rd, 2013 3:39 PM

    There’s a new version of Brainsmasher here, PURE CHEERLEADING GAHBAGE!

  6. Jason Cruz on January 3rd, 2013 10:18 PM

    I think the ratings say a lot about boxing. NBC did that rating on a Saturday afternoon the weekend before Christmas when most are out at the mall or traveling home. Similarly, CBS did well with its first boxing event on the network a week earlier. NBC’s Fight Nights pulled between 200K to 300K in its quarterly spot on the NBC Sports Network. The network rating is a significant jump. We will see how each network places boxing in its schedules for 2013 (weekly, monthly, quarterly…)

  7. Brain Smasher on January 4th, 2013 12:26 AM

    Well you dont have to wait long here i am…

    Im glad everyone is happy over these ratings but they are not a real surprise. The average age of these “Network” channels skews very old. For example the average age of Prime time viewers for the big networks is 51 years old. These networks could have always got decent ratings out of boxing. Because they share the same demographic. Where are the demographic breakdowns for these shows? The problem wasnt ever ratings with boxing on netowrk. It is that the advertisers dont pay to reach those viewers like they do younger demos. We are starting to see them starting to go after the baby boom crowed more so than ever before because they are more active and spending more than ever before. This will help boxing and is likely why the networks are warming back up to boxing. But ratings without advertisers is pointless. Also lets not get carried away. Boxing on a major network is still lucky to match the UFC undercard on basic cable. Being as this was Boxing first shows back im sure more tuned it than normal and the numbers will level out a little lower. Do we need reminded what UFC’s first show did and what Elite XC’s first show did on Network?

  8. Tim on January 4th, 2013 4:02 AM

    Reports saying in averaged 1,6 million viewers, but peaked at 3,2 million after picking up viewers as it went along. No doubt NBC are happy with that. 2012 was a strong year for boxing. HBO and Showtime also had increased ratings. I don’t remember seeing so many good signs for boxing in years.

  9. Sampson Simpson on January 4th, 2013 5:58 AM

    Compare names and budgets for the NBC/CBS boxing shows compared to the MMA crap…

  10. Tops of on January 4th, 2013 4:00 PM

    And there it is…brain smashers most sought after opinion….lol…

  11. Peterpantsless on January 4th, 2013 4:09 PM

    The article makes no mention it peaked at 3.6 million according to SI and Dan Rafael. Over the course of the show a total of 3.9 million tuned in at some point. Let’s put this in perspective, a low level boxing match in a poor Saturday timeslot which averages about 500k pretty much managed to pull primetime numbers. Imagine if this fight had been in the same slot the UFC is in. They would be able destroy the ratings Cain vs JDS pulled using nothing but low level fights.

  12. Peterpantsless on January 4th, 2013 4:17 PM

    @Brain Smasher

    no dude you’re way off. Learn some history. Boxing didn’t have toruble with age demos. The trouble started when all the good boxers started flocking to HBO and Showtime chasing the bigger pay days. Free networks couldn’t afford the bigger names in boxing anymore and the cable networks got the whole lot of them. Boxing left network TV willingly so they would get paid more.

    Your second point shows you don’t understand ratings. Boxing was in a timeslot that normally does less than a million. The programme before it was snowboarding which pulled 500k. The only show to beat boxing in that timeslot was basketball which pulled 1.8 million, but didn’t rise up near 4 million like boxing did. Basically not only did boxing thrash most of the competition, they eventually pulled primetime numbers in a very weak timeslot. Basektball did not peak that high. Basically, if you took this same fight and placed it in the same timeslot the UFC is in, the UFC would get thrashed. That’s right, a low level HW clash in boxing is capable of getting higher ratings than the “biggest UFC fight of all time.”

  13. Brain Smasher on January 4th, 2013 6:25 PM

    I got you signig in every day for it.


    Who cares about the budget. Fact is both are using dead end fighters that will never headline a PPV. So really what these numbers represent is fans tuning in to see the sport rather than specific fighters. Boxing was put on a silver plater in front of milllions apon millions of its demographic who are to old to get up and change the channel and do not know how to use a remote. The UFC was put on Cable where its demo is spread out among dozens of channels. Yet still more people choose to watch Mixed Martial Arts rules over the Marquis of Queensbury rules. Have fun with your 80 year old fan base who love watcing guys who have their shorts pulled up to their nipples. The old men can relate to that.

  14. Brain Smasher on January 4th, 2013 6:40 PM

    Here is something else to consider. ESPN reports the peak at being over 4 million. IF that is the case and it still over average 1.6 million. That means almost noone was watching this show until work of mouth spread about the exciting fight. I mean 4 million people watch that fight what did that pull the average up from? 600,000? This shows lack of interest in boxing itself and lack of anticipation for boxings return to network. Something people are hinting at with the totals. Anyone will tune in to a good fight. But that is not realistic snap shot of the fans or the following. If this was a run of the mill fight then the numbers might have really tanked. I mean these peak numbers are only important if they come back for later events. Not just by the off chance they hear there is a good fight going on. Not to mention how many were turned off by the controversial decision. I vowed to never watch boxing again after the Holifield/Vulev fight. The corruption was popping up in every matched i watched. 6 boxing events in a row ended in suspect activity so i never watched it again.

  15. Felix on January 5th, 2013 12:37 AM

    you’re way off with the age on boxing’s fan base smasher. I know lots of people who are boxing fans, none of them are older than 40. Perhaps you should check out this study on boxing fan demos http://www.medialifemagazine.com/your-clients-ad-at-the-boxing-ring/

  16. Sampson Simpson on January 5th, 2013 7:24 AM

    The 2 hour show.started with 1 million viewers and ended with 4 million.

    That shows significant interest in the sport with a vastly under marketed product. But we already knew that.

  17. Brain Smasher on January 6th, 2013 1:42 AM

    Thats nice but it isnt correct. Everyone who follows boxing knows it attracts a much older audience. This is from Bad LEft Hook.com

    “Boxing doesn’t have that audience. And the chances for anyone in boxing, even the power promoters like Top Rank and Golden Boy, to land a legitimate network TV deal like UFC has right now, depends on their ability to bring in the almighty advertising dollar as well as delivering a consistent audience. Boxing’s demographics just plain skew older. UFC has done a fantastic job capturing the coveted 18-34 crowd. Boxing has not, and it’s something that will continue to haunt them if anyone serious attempts to land a legitimate, fair deal on network TV.”

    It is the reason boxing has been off of network TV all these years and truth be told the only reason they are getting a chance now is the recent success of the UFC bringing interest back into combat sports. MMA is making Boxing relevent again.

  18. Sampson Simpson on January 6th, 2013 3:47 PM

    Boxing has always been relevant… MMA hasn’t and the UFC is starting to become less relevant each year.

  19. Brain Smasher on January 6th, 2013 7:00 PM

    HAHAHA You said UFC will be off FOX this year. So what the hell do you know! You still stand by that?

  20. Sampson Simpson on January 7th, 2013 8:16 AM

    End of 2013 for sure. It’s dead in the water my small brained slave

  21. codemaster on January 7th, 2013 4:15 PM

    It is strange to me that so many MMA haters appear in a website titled MMA Payout.

    I don’t see the same thing happening to websites for others sports.


    I am glad boxing pulled in some decent numbers–I always enjoy boxing, and I think there are a lot of boxing/combat sports fans out there who don’t get enough on network TV.

    I remember Friday night fights and Saturday–before PPV ruined boxing. Let’s hope they continue with good network ratings.

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