Kovalev fight draws second-highest rating boxing event on HBO this year

November 29, 2017

Coming back from his loss to Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev returned to HBO and drew one of the best ratings for a live event on the network this year.  According to Nielsen, his fight with Vyacheslav Shabranskyy drew an average of 869,000 viewers peaking at 900,000 viewers Saturday night.

Kovalev’s fight lasted just two rounds as he thoroughly outclassed Shabranskyy.  Only the Terrence Crawford-Felix Diaz fight on HBO this past May drew higher ratings for a live event.

There were three fights on HBO Saturday night.  In the first fight, Yuriorkis Gamboa defeated Jason Sosa in somewhat of a controversial win.  The fight averaged 763,000 viewers and peaked at 846,000.  It also drew 0.24 in the A18-49 demo.  Sullivan Barrera defeated Felix Valera in the second bout of the evening.  The fight saw both men knock each other down in one round.  The event averaged 760,000 viewers and peaked with 805,000.  The event drew 0.25 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings show that Kovalev is still a viable draw for HBO.  His fight did not last long but based on the numbers, it’s clear that there is an audience for him even on a holiday weekend which could have buried this event.  We will see how/when Kovalev returns, the type of promotion he will receive.

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