Ward/Kovalev 2 replay draws 752,000 on HBO

June 28, 2017

The HBO replay of Ward/Kovalev 2 this past Saturday drew 752,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  It drew a 0.52 rating in the A18-49 category.

The replay is less than the 834,000 viewers that saw their first fight on HBO last November.  We should note that the replay of the first fight was accompanied by a live Vasyl Lomachenko fight.

Payout Perspective:

While replays on HBO due not garner the viewership as live events on the network, comparing the first and second fights reflects less interest in the rematch.  From the PPV buy rate being floated around, it seems that this holds true as it looks like the second fight between the two drew less buys than the first.  Whether it was the matchup or the lack of interest, I would have expected more based on the very good fight the two put on in 2017.

19 Responses to “Ward/Kovalev 2 replay draws 752,000 on HBO”

  1. Marco Contreras on June 29th, 2017 7:53 AM

    It wasn’t ppv worthy , Ward is an amazing boxer but not a ppv star no shock

  2. Wil on June 29th, 2017 11:11 AM

    Andre Ward isn’t a PPV fighter, neither is Kovalev, and Roc Nation has to be the worst promotional outfit in boxing. They seem to have no idea what they are doing. Their model seems to be to barely even sell to the boxing crowd let alone get their fighters known.

  3. Wil on June 29th, 2017 11:12 AM

    Consequently, Im not upset it failed, I despise the ppv model. Some of these promoters and networks just don’t seem to get that there is a major push away from the ppv model in boxing, reserving it only for the biggest fights. Bob Arum seems to be learning that, even Golden Boy has learned it outside of Canelo….Roc Nation is stuck in the past.

  4. French-Canadian Boxing Fan on June 29th, 2017 12:55 PM


    I’m very disappointed by the Ward/Kovalev 2 PPV numbers but I share your general opinion of the PPV model.

    I also dislike the PPV model but seeing how PBC essentially failed on regular NBC and regular FOX I don’t know what to think anymore.

    I have watched all of the PBC regular network cards with great interest (we get these networks across Canada) but unfortunately the American public at large did not seem to share the same interest in boxing as they did in the past.

    I think it’s safe to say that boxing in the U.S. is indeed at a low point despite the number of exciting and good boxers around these days (there are many). Some people blame the May/Pac event of 2015 and they may be right to an extent but call me crazy, I believe the rise of the Trump movement in mid 2015 might have done damage to boxing.

    What I mean by this is that the Trump movement divided America even more by race/ethnicity and created a bad vibe and as we all know, boxing in America has a pretty big non-white audience. The Trump movement probably made many non-whites much more concerned with their place and safety in America since mid 2015 than with trivial pursuits like sports and entertainment. That’s just a possibility and I may be completely crazy but I often thought the Trump movement did some harm to the boxing demographics.

  5. Fight Fan on June 29th, 2017 4:58 PM

    There was practically zero hype for this fight. No casual viewer had any interest.Not surprised.

  6. d on June 29th, 2017 8:01 PM

    Wow. That’s horrendous. Demetrious Johnson does bigger ppv numbers as did Bellator probably.

  7. Wil on June 29th, 2017 10:31 PM

    French Canadian I have posted at length about the race issue with boxing and mma in the USA and of course it is very real but it didn’t begin with trump. It goes back to the post Marciano years when the demographics of Champions changed and has been in a slow decline ever since. I remember the 1981 Holmes vs Cooney fight and how racially charged that was, and the hype behind tommy Morrison leading up to the mercer fight a decade later. That’s just how it is. Bob Arum and Don King further alienated much of the American public by both moving to the ppv model and the networks shunning King because of his reputation and business practices. However we disagree on this…..PBC is doing fine and ofnthe last 2 years the largest audiences for Combat sports have been PBC cards for 2015, 2016, and 2017 so far. With Bob Arum moving to ESPN over hbo and hbo ppv I expect this to add to what had been an excellent year for the sport, which can largely be attributed to PBC reaching more fans than any one since the 90s. Anything over 2m average viewers on network tv like fox and cbs is a good show….NBC is a different kettle of fish with much higher rates and traditionally stacked programming.

  8. Wil on June 29th, 2017 10:33 PM

    Interstingly enough the show hit good ratings on hbo almost reaching 1m viewers….I suspect it would have hit somewhere around 1.5m average had it been on hbo even with poor promotion by roc nation……who really need to fire their boxing promotional team and hire some folks with more experience and connections to more than just the hbo crowd

  9. d on June 30th, 2017 6:56 AM

    PBC’s only right’s deal has been cancelled and they’ve been thrown of Spike so that they can focus on their real ratings from Bellator. I’m not sure if boxing fans are aware of this, but they do not make money. They just keep losing money for their events and skimming money off of the top of a mutual fund. Their gates/ad revenue in their time-buys don’t even gross them 1m per event and the cost to produce these fight cards for even the lower tier ones are several million.

    PBC also doesn’t even really have fights anymore and they have lost nearly 700m, are still being investigated by the SEC, are in the process of still being sued, and it would be nearly impossible for them to still be in business for another year or two because they are not going to be able to lose another 700m. This was the biggest financial disaster in combat sports history.

  10. Speakman on June 30th, 2017 7:17 AM

    Kovalev got rekt. He made no improvements.

  11. Fight Fan on June 30th, 2017 9:17 AM

    There goes d talking about pbc lol. That 4 billion is too much for him to handle .

  12. Cutch on June 30th, 2017 3:59 PM

    Genuine question, PBC was supposed to run shows on ESPN starting May but aren’t scheduled to run any shows on that network, did they give away or sell those shows to Top Rank & perhaps Golden boy?

    Its mainly Showtime/CBS or Fox for big fights and FS1 & Bounce for up and comers, the majority of the FS1 cards air mid week.

  13. Jason Cruz on June 30th, 2017 11:23 PM

    @Cutch I will look into it but they didn’t sell the shows. As part of the antitrust settlement with TR, they gave up exclusivity with ESPN and other networks.

  14. Marco Contreras on July 1st, 2017 8:56 AM

    @Jason Cruz great info thank you

  15. Caramel City on July 1st, 2017 10:34 AM

    PBC had shows with big ratings, ok ratings and low ratings.
    They also had a lot of shows, and a number of them with fighters that only hardcores would know.
    They had moments of match making fights where they dropped the ball, but then came through in the end with fights that were great and did great ratings.

    Now you have Top Rank and Golden Boy on ESPN. Pacquiao on

  16. Caramel City on July 1st, 2017 10:37 AM

    You have Pacquiao on ESPN. Lomachenko on ESPN. Crawford on ESPN.
    Think about that.

  17. Cutch on July 1st, 2017 10:45 AM

    Seems like HBO is only interested in PPV fights, Top Rank could set up their own PPVs and cut out HBO all together.

    Showtime is carrying on as usual having some good fights on there.

  18. d on July 1st, 2017 5:04 PM

    Top Rank wanted to stay with HBO, the issue is that HBO did not want to continue to lose money with Top Rank. They weren’t willing to distribute their bad ppvs. Distributors like HBO and Showtime do not like ppv with the exception of the mega events. They don’t make much money off of ppv that isn’t massive. They prefer big names on tv cards. Top Rank’s buy rates go way down without a major distributor. They have to do both similar to how the UFC does and unlike the latter, Top Rank does not have the distribution capabilities which is why Manny’s last ppv bombed royally and why now he’s fighting on free tv.

    What we may be seeing is the end of boxing on HBO soon. Their budget has been slashed all the way down to $25m per year(which is probably much smaller than Spike’s deal with Bellator) and this could pave the way for HBO finally getting into mma. It would be wise seeing how the future is clearly in mma and not boxing.

    ESPN’s deal with Top Rank will not be able to sustain those names. It would be impossible. The costs are too high. This is the exact reason why PBC failed. You can’t pay cable tv fighters 4-6m in purses. They don’t produce sustainable ratings for those costs.

  19. Wil on July 2nd, 2017 12:39 PM

    Get ready for some MASSIVE ratings for ESPN with last nights fight card….already projected to be the biggest fight on the network since the 90s.

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.