PBC on Fox draws 880,000 viewers

April 29, 2018

PBC on Fox drew 880,000 viewers on Saturday night according to Television By Numbers.

PBC on Fox aired from 8:30-10pm and drew 0.2 in the A18-49 demo and a 1 share.  It featured Josesitio Lopez beating Miguel Cruz in the feature event.

The ratings are the second-lowest of a PBC on Fox event as it drew 866,000 viewers in July 2017.  This past October’s event drew 1.3 million viewers.  It mustered 1.06 million viewers opposite the Winter Olympics this past February.

The event went up against the NHL Playoffs featuring the Las Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks.  The game drew 1.84 million viewers.  It also went up against a rerun of American Idol which drew 2.31 million viewers and Ransom on CBS which won the 8pm hour with 2.56 million viewers overall.

Payout Perspective:

It was a combat sports-heavy night on Saturday with 3 televised boxing events and Bellator.  Not to mention a Game 7 in basketball and the aforementioned NHL Playoffs.  So, it wasn’t surprising that PBC on Fox did not draw well last night as it seemed buried among all of the sports on television.

Garcia-Rios on Showtime Saturday peaks with 558,000 viewers

February 21, 2018

The return of Danny Garcia to the ring saw him draw 516,000 viewers on Showtime Saturday night according to Nielsen.  His fight against Brandon Rios peaked at 558,000 viewers.

Garcia KO’d Rios in the 9th round.  It drew 0.18 in the A18-49 demo per Nielsen.  It was the main event of a 3-fight telecast on the network.

The first fight of the night saw Yordenis Ugas stop Ray Robinson in the 7th round.  The event drew 314,000 viewers and peaked with 487,000.  It drew 0.11 in the A18-49 demo.  The second fight saw David Benavidez defend his WBC super middleweight title against Ronald Gavril.  The fight was not too exciting although it drew 458,000 viewers and peaked with 489,000.  It drew 0.17 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings were not the best especially with the return of previously undefeated Garcia in the main event.  Many expected an easy fight for Garcia which was the result.  The event went up against NBA All-Star Saturday night and the Winter Olympics.  It also occurred after the PBC on Fox which mustered over 1 million viewers on the network.

PBC on Fox draws 1.06M viewers opposite Winter Olympics

February 18, 2018

PBC on Fox drew 1.06M viewers on Fox Saturday night according to Television By Numvers.  The event featured Victor Ortiz taking on Devon Alexander in a fight that ended in a draw.

The event drew a 0.3 rating in the A18-49 demo and a 1 share.  The event came in 4th in its overall timeslot with the Winter Olympics drawing over 13.62 million viewers for the night.

The ratings are down from October’s 1.3M viewers.  But, did better than July’s 866,000 viewers.  In February 2017, it drew 1.76M viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are slightly lower than this past fall when it went up against the MLB Playoffs and College Football.  However, the Winter Olympics is a huge draw despite reports that viewership is down from the last Olympics.

2017: The year in boxing

January 6, 2018

2017 was a great year for boxing which saw some great fights and the spectacle that was Mayweather-McGregor.

The year started off with the talk about Mayweather-McGregor as the UFC’s lightweight champion stirred the pot by going on a rant on Instagram where he wrote “F*** the UFC.”  Dana White warned that if Conor went on without the UFC it would be an “epic fall.”

January also saw Al Haymon get a court victory with a dismissal of Golden Boy’s Antitrust lawsuit.  In a ruling which did not include oral argument, the Judge determined that Golden Boy did not come fort with genuine issues of fact to support its claims.  Most importantly, and a word of caution for the Plaintiffs in the UFC Antitrust lawsuit, the Judge reiterated that the antitrust laws protect competition, not competitors.

Although Golden Boy suffered the loss in court, it inked a deal with ESPN with 42 fights airing on ESPN starting in March 2017.  As the prevailing party, they requested legal costs in the amount nearing $35,0000.  Golden Boy appealed the dismissal but it appears that the sides resolved the case as the appeal was dismissed by agreement of the parties.

The Deontay Wilder-Alexander Povetkin/World of Boxing lawsuit went to trial in February and it did not take long for a jury to decide that Povetkin took Meldonium after January 1, 2016.  However, the case continues with the parties litigating the other claims as well as the issue who receives the millions of dollars that has been placed in escrow.

Wilder was also sued by rival Dominic Breazeale for a hotel melee.  The case was thrown out as the episode happened in Alabama but Breazeale sued in California.

Showtime Boxing had the highest rating of 2017 with Adrian Broner taking on Adrian Granados drawing 779,000 viewers.  The fight also aired on Twitter as the service continued to expand its offering of streamingClaressa Shields became the first female boxer to headline an event on premium network television. In March.

The GGG-Daniel Jacobs PPV drew between 130-150K PPV buys.  GGG’s next PPV appearance against Canelo would draw much higher as the draw drew 1.2 million buys.  The fight also had a higher price tag than usual:  $79.99 HD.  A rematch for May 2018 seems imminent.

March saw the second highest-rating for network viewership as Keith Thurman faced Danny Garcia in the battle of unbeatens on CBS.  The fight drew 5.1 million viewers while the overall telecast drew 2.7 million viewers.

After going through a lot of money, the viability of the PBC obtaining a media rights deal was brought into question.  Its deal with Spike TV ended but the organization found a home on FS1.

In 2017, it seemed as those everyone applied for a boxing license:  Conor, Nate Diaz, Cyborg…

Anthony Joshua faced Vladimir Klitschko in one of the biggest fights of the year.  The event aired live on Showtime and tape delay on HBO.

May’s Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. PPV drew 1.3 million buys and its replay on HBO drew 769,000 viewers.

In May, we took a look at where was Boxing’s next PPV star.  Aside from Canelo Alvarez, there are several contenders to be the next star on PPV including Anthony Joshua.

In June, The Money Fight was announced.

Also in June, Top Rank announced that it had a deal with ESPN to air fights with the first one being Manny Pacquiao fighting Jeff Horn in Australia on July 1st.  The debut earned big numbers as Pacquiao lost a controversial decision to Horn.

The Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev II PPV in June drew between 130-135K PPV buys.

July saw a 4-city tour to promote the Mayweather-McGregor bouts.  It was an ambitious tour that fans clamored to be a part.  It was announced that the PPV price would be $99.95 HD.

The Money Fight drew huge numbers and was a big financial success.  We wrote about it here.  The event had streaming issues on both UFC Fight Pass and Showtime platforms.  As you might expect, there were lawsuits which are still matriculating through the court system.

Despite the big event, HBO ran an event featuring Miguel Cotto and it did well considering as it drew 730,000 viewers.

Capitalizing on the publicity of The Money Fight, announced an ESPN deal which will include airing its fight library on an OTT service that will launch in 2018.

Austin Trout sued the WBO which included claims under the Ali Act.  The case was moved to federal court in Puerto Rico where the WBO is seeking to dismiss the case and move it to arbitration.  The case will be an interesting look as to whether the court will allow a claim under the Ali Act will go to arbitration.

In September, Magomed Abdusalamov settled with the state of New York for $22 million for injuries sustained in a fight in 2013.  Abdusalamov was left with a brain injury and paralysis due to improper conduct and lack of training by the New York State Athletic Commission.

A huge ESPN fight between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeux drew 1.73 million viewers.  The overall telecast drew 1.487 million viewers.

In December, Showtime announced Mayweather-McGregor drew 4.3 million domestic PPV buys.  This is off from the 6.7 million Dana White had stated.  After hearing of the announcement, White took issue with Showtime’s numbers.

One of the bigger stories to watch going into 2018 is the announcement by Dana White that he will be promoting boxing.  Zuffa Boxing, a t-shirt worn by White during The Money Fight press tour, was a hint that White was up to something.  White made it official late in the year.  He indicated that he was meeting with Floyd Mayweather.  Despite stating that he will never work with Showtime again, he said he would be willing work with other promoters with the exception of Bob Arum.

White rails on Showtime, vows to never work with network again

January 4, 2018

Dana White believes that he can do boxing better.  In an interview with Yahoo! Sports, White believes he has ideas that could make boxing better.

“You need to get a real TV deal,” said Dana White to Yahoo! Sports Kevin Iole in a shot made against Bob Arum’s Top Rank deal with ESPN.  White’s foray into boxing is not to take over the landscape of promotion but the belief that he can do it better than those who are presently promoting the sport.

White spoke with Iole at length on a variety of subjects including his boxing promoting aspirations.

One of the more notable quotes he had was stating his displeasure with working with Showtime during the Mayweather-McGregor fight.  This is not the first time White has had problems with Showtime as he butted heads with the network when Zuffa took over Strikeforce.  In the Iole interview, White disputes Showtime’s press release touting that The Money Fight drew 4.3 million domestic buys.  White contends the fight did 6.7 million buys and that it would have done more if there were not technical glitches.  It may have seemed that White took a shot at Showtime’s streaming service but that may have been just an inference based on tone as there were other online options.  There have been lawsuits filed as a result of the tech failure.

Payout Perspective:

It comes as no surprise that White does not like Showtime and maybe the feeling is mutual.  One of the reasons why The Money Fight was such a surprise to me when it was made so quickly was White’s disdain for the network.  As for the issue of boxing promotion, the issue of fighter pay and whether White can secure a TV deal as he suggested in the interview are two big questions when White begins to promote boxing.  White is not going in this blind as he stated he has meetings with those in the boxing business and previously stated that he had a meeting with Mayweather.  He also is friendly with Al Haymon which may mean the two work together down the line.

PBC on FS1 Friday night draws 276,000 viewers

December 18, 2017

PBC on FS1 Friday night drew 276,000 on Friday night according to Nielsen per ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured the return of Jessie Vargas as he defeated Herrera via unanimous decision.  Prior to Friday night, Vargas last fought Manny Pacquiao in November 2016.  Notably, Vargas has a victory over Sadam Ali, the fighter that upset Miguel Cotto in his retirement match.

The PBC post-show on FS1 drew 217,000 viewers.

The telecast drew slightly better than last Friday’s PBC event on FS1 which drew 236,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Friday night could be the night for PBC on FS1.  The NBA on ESPN drew the top ratings in the time slot but boxing could be a nice alternatives for those wanting an alternative to hoops.

PBC on FS1 draws 236,000 viewers on Friday night

December 11, 2017

On Friday night, PBC on FS1 drew 236,000 viewers.  The event featured Jean Pascal as he faced Ahmed Elbiali.

The event was the pre-cursor to the big boxing event at The Theater at Madison Square Garden between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeux.

Former light heavyweight champion, Pascal stopped the previously unbeaten Elbiali.  After the fight, Pascal announced his retirement.

Payout Perspective:

Fair ratings for the event which featured a former champ in the main event.  Yet, this was an event mainly for the boxing fan and the 236,000 reflects this.

Report outlines Top Rank’s path to its ESPN deal

November 22, 2017

Last week’s Sports Business Journal reported on ESPN’s return to boxing.  The article focused on Top Rank’s deal with ESPN this past July and how it transitioned from premium cable to basic cable.

There was interest from Top Rank into obtaining a rights fee deal the likes of the UFC and Fox.  A key point was shoulder programming which would help with promoting the fights.  Top Rank Boxing president Todd DuBoef analyzed the promotion’s ratings on HBO and saw that they were comparable to the shows the UFC put on FS1 and thought there might be interest for shopping his rights with the knowledge that the UFC was doing the same.  DuBoef sought help from CAA about the possibility.

According to the SBJ article, there were three reasons for ESPN’s dive back into boxing:

One is the opportunity to capture all of the promoter’s fighters and fights, without the concern that the stars they develop will then move to premium cable. Another is the soon-to-be launched OTT service, which will rely on deeply engaged fans who will pay for content like Top Rank’s fight library, and also brings the distribution of pay-per-view into play. The third is the data narrative that DuBoef and CAA brought to the initial conversation.

The article notes that Al Haymon’s PBC was an archetype for Top Rank to gage the level of interest boxing may have with a broader audience.  The interesting take is that despite the sport skewing to the older demographic, it grabbed a slice of the 18-49 demo.  PBC’s business model to buy time on the air with the hope to “flip” the model has not worked.  The article notes that deposition testimony from the litigation involving PBC professes that the flipping of the script for PBC to turn the model for networks to pay for PBC rights was to have occurred in 2018.

Ratings reflect that young male demo is watching boxing.  The first Top Rank fight featuring Manny Pacquiao taking on Jeff Horn drew well in the 18-34 demo as 836,000 of them tuned in when Pacquiao stepped in against his Aussie challenger in July.  The next month, a fight featuring Vasyl Lomachenko beat out a UFC Fight Night in the demo 137,000 to 109,000 and 317,000 to 271,000 for males 18-49.  Although the UFC show on FS1 fared better overall, the ratings saw the younger male demo scoring better.  In September a Top Rank card headlining Oscar Valdez drew better than a UFC Fight Night on FXX.  Boxing beat the UFC 706,000 to 502,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

It’s an interesting article because of the perceived newfound partnership between each party and its duties with the main goal of attracting a broader audience which includes a younger demographic.  There is an inference that television boxing consumption skews to the older demographic which may be true.  However, there is a sense that the premium channels on which boxing aired, as well as the lack of advertisements on those networks were key factors as to the older demo.  The ESPN deal helps both boxing and the network.  ESPN gets live content while boxing has the chance to be viewed by a broader audience and will be aided by programming that will help its own events on the network.  So far, ratings seem to show that it is successful.  We shall see how it does in the long run.  As of now, it seems that Top Rank has learned from PBC’s falters in what works on the network and what does not.

Showtime Boxing event Saturday peaks with first two fights

October 17, 2017

ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports that Saturday night’s Showtime card had its best viewership prior to the main event.

Erislandy Lara’s win over Terrell Gausha drew 399,000 viewers and peaked at 476,000 Showtime subscribers according to Nielsen. But the Jermell Charlo Erickson Lubin fight averaged 495,000 viewers and peaked with 537,000.  The first fight between Jarrett Hurd and Austin Trout averaged 430,000 and peaked at 555,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The Showtime event aired after PBC on Fox.  The ratings are unusual as one would expect that viewership would increase as the telecast goes on but in t his case, the viewership peaked during the first two fights.

PBC on Fox draws 1.3 million viewers

October 15, 2017

PBC on Fox Saturday night drew 1.3 million viewers on Saturday night per Television By Numbers.

The event went up against stiff competition with the MLB Playoffs featuring the Cubs and Dodgers on cable TV.  Also, USC played Utah on ABC opposite the Fox broadcast.

The event featured Abner Mares as he defeated Andres Gutierrez to retain his WBA featherweight title.  The telecast drew 0.3 in the A18-49 demo and a 1 share.

In July, PBC on Fox drew just 866,000.  In February of this year it drew 1.76 million viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The PBC telecasts on Fox have waned in popularity and although Saturday’s event drew better than this past summer, it’s not nearly as popular as the UFC when it does its quarterly events on Fox.

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