GGG-Canelo replay on HBO draws 726,000 viewers

September 26, 2017

HBO’s Boxing telecast which included a replay of the GGG-Canelo fight drew 726,000 viewers via Nielsen.  The live fight of the telecast drew 687,000 viewers.

Saturday night’s event which replayed GGG-Canelo peaked at 840,000 viewers and drew 0.24 in the A18-49 demo.

The fight between Jorge Linares and Luke Campbell peaked at 726,000 viewers and drew 0.23 in the A18-49 demo.  Linares won via split decision.

Canelo PPV replays on HBO:

Canelo-JCC, Jr:  769,000

Canelo-Khan:  767,000

Canelo-Smith: 459,000

Canelo-Cotto:  901,000

Payout Perspective:

Despite the hype for this fight it is only third on the above list in terms of replay viewership.  This is surprising considering the draw and how most thought this

Rungvisai-Chocolatito draw 796,000 on HBO

September 15, 2017

HBO Boxing After Dark this past Saturday drew 796,000 viewers for the main event featuring the rematch of Sor Rungvisai and Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez.

The event featured 3 fights on the telecast and ran opposite UFC 215 this past Saturday.  The event was dubbed, “Superfly,” since it featured super flyweights on Saturday event.

The main event pitted the rematch in which Rungvisai knocked out Chocolatito in the fourth round of their super flyweight championship.  The peak occurred during their fight and scored 835,000 viewers.

The co-main event of the evening featured Japan’s Naoya Inoue defeating Antonio Nieves.  Inoue, perhaps the next challenger to Rungvisai, defeated Nieves after the banker featured in the Wall Street Journal the same day, did not come out for round 7.  The event drew 735,000 viewers and peaked at 770,000.

In the first fight of the evening, Juan Francisco Estrada defeated Carlos Cuardras.  The fight drew 608,000 viewers with a peak of 714,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Very good ratings for the main event considering that this telecast focused on fights in some of the smallest weight divisions in boxing.  Many people had heard or saw the first fight between Rungvisai and Chocolatito and wanted to see they could match the action of their first fight.  It did not go to a decision but fans should have been impressed with Rungvisai’s stoppage of Gonzalez.

Cotto-Kamegai draws 730,000 on HBO

August 31, 2017

The Saturday night HBO live telecast of Miguel Cotto versus Yoshihiro Kamegai drew 730,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

According to a report from the LA Times, the event peaked at 805,000 viewers which was very good considering all of the hype centered around The Money Fight.  Cotto dominated a spirited fight with Kamegai and earned a unanimous decision.  Notably, the fight ended prior to the start of the Mayweather-McGregor fight.  The Money Fight was delayed due to technical issues with providers but the Cotto fight probably would have ended prior to the anticipated original start time.

The other fight on the HBO telecast was Rey Vargas fighting Ronny Rios.  Vargas defeated Rios in a super bantamweight fight.  The peak audience for the fight was 687,000 viewers and drew an average viewership of 524,000.  The fight competed with the undercard of the PPV telecast.

In addition, the first episode of the 24/7 between Canelo and GGG drew 351,000 viewers and 0.12 in the A18-49 demo.  A portion of the telecast went up against The Money Fight.

Payout Perspective:

It was a strong night of boxing and the HBO telecast did not fall off due to the PPV telecast.  Perhaps boxing fans wanted to find a fight prior to the PPV and I would imagine a lot of fans were flipping back and forth between the HBO telecast and waiting on the Mayweather-McGregor fight.

Ratings for HBOs BAD and PBC on FS1 from Saturday

July 20, 2017

HBO’s Boxing After Dark Saturday night drew 683,000 viewers for its main event on the network per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.   The two other fights on the telecast scored in the 600,000

The event is more than its last Boxing After Dark main event this past January which drew 497,000 viewers.  This past Saturday, Joe Smith, Jr. faced Sullivan Berrera.  Despite being dropped in the first round, Berrera came back to dominate the fight and win a 10-round bout.  In addition, Miguel Berchelt defeated Takashi Miura via unanimous decision and Jerzeel Corrales defeated Robinson Castellanos.

The Berchelt fight drew 617,000 viewers while the Corrales fight drew 629,000.  Both scored 0.21 in the A18-49 demo.

There were three boxing telecasts Saturday.  PBC on Fox drew 886,000 viewers on the network,while  PBC on FS1 served as an add-on to the Fox event.  The show on FS1 drew 277,000 viewers and 0.08 in the A18-49 demo for a two-hour telecast which aired immediately after the Fox show.  The Fox show peaked above 1 million viewers.

Payout Perspective:

 

PBC on Fox drew less than a million and the FS1 event did as well as it usually does on the network.  The shows on HBO had modest viewership with each of the three fights drawing in the 600s range which is good for the network after losing much of its prized fighters since Bob Arum signed a tv deal with ESPN.

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.

Crawford-Diaz draw 961,000 viewers on HBO

May 23, 2017

The Terrence Crawford-Felix Diaz fight on HBO Boxing drew 961,000 viewers on Saturday night per ShowBuzz Daily.

Crawford dominated the fight against Diaz.  Per ShowBuzz Daily, it drew a 0.37 rating in the A18-49 demo.

The other fight on the telecast between Raymundo Beltran and Jonathan Maicelo drew 687,000 viewers on HBO.

Previously, Crawford drew 982,000 viewers for his fight this past February against Hank Lundy.  In October 2016, Crawford drew 1.07M subscribers against Dierry Jean.  In April 2015, he drew 1.004M subscribers against Thomas Dulorme.

Payout Perspective:

The telecast was opposite a Showtime show so there may have been a split in viewership.  Crawford is one of HBO’s prized boxers but will he get a shot at the upper echelon?  The one sure way is a big fight with Manny Pacquiao.  The ratings reflect that his viewership is around 1 million viewers but if he’s to return to PPV, he’ll need a Pacquiao fight to do so.

Canelo-Chavez replay draw 769,000 on HBO

May 17, 2017

The replay of the Canelo Alvarez- Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. fight drew 769,000 viewers this past Saturday night on HBO per ShowBuzz Daily.

Canelo’s May fight against Amir Khan drew 767,000 for the replay on HBO.  He drew 459,000 HBO subscribers for his September 2016 fight against Liam Smith.  His 2015 fight with Miguel Cotto drew 901,000 subscribers for its replay.

Payout Perspective:
The lower ratings probably did not impact the PPV buys as it is reported that it will be over 1 million buys for the Cinco De Mayo weekend fight.  The ratings might be lower than the Cotto fight for the simple fact that news got around that the fight was a walkover.  In addition, it was on a night with UFC 211 on that night.

Where is boxing’s next PPV star?

May 6, 2017

As Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. get set to fight on the traditional Cinco de Mayo weekend boxing card, we wonder about boxing’s next big pay-per-view draw.

The two fighters in the main event were thought to be the future of boxing.  You can argue that only one of them has lived up to the billing of being the next big star while the other has been a disappointment thus far in his career.  For those that don’t follow boxing, Canelo is the fighter that is still on a career arc while JCC has the name and pedigree but perhaps not the desire needed to be a top star.

Last week, Anthony Joshua stopped Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 in Wembley Stadium in a showdown between heavyweights.  While Joshua is massively popular in the UK, it’s still unknown whether that fandom would translate to US audiences.

The overarching question is whether any of these fighters could translate into a PPV star for boxing.

Canelo seems to be the best active fighter to be considered a boxing star on PPV.  He produced 2 million PPV buys when he fought Floyd Mayweather in September 2013 and 900,000 PPV buys against Miguel Cotto in November 2015.

But since the Cotto fight, Canelo has had lackluster PPV performances in a KO win over Amir Khan and Liam Smith.  In the Khan fight, it was estimated it had between 460,000 to 600,000 PPV buys.  It was later recalibrated down to 450,000 – 500,000 buys depending on who you asked.  This is respectable but down considering Khan had some notoriety prior to fighting Alvarez.  The Smith fight in September 2016 drew less than 300,000 PPV buys.  This may be due to the unknown opponent and the prior rumors that Alvarez was going to meet GGG.

In 2016, the biggest fight of the year, Andre Ward versus Sergey Kovalev, drew just 165,000 PPV buys.  GGG’s fight against Daniel Jacobs this past March did 170,000 PPV buys which was an improvement from GGG last showing on PPV.  Yet, fair or unfair to compare, 170,000 buys is less than a mediocre monthly PPV.  GGG is considered one of boxing’s best and can only muster 170,000 to pay for his fight, while a PPV with CM Punk drew 450,000 PPV buys.

In a November 2015 Sports Business Journal article former HBO PPV chief Mark Taffet identified seven factors that set apart PPV “megastars”:

  1. In-ring style – this goes to being an action fighter with the intent to KO an opponent in every fight
  2. Out-of-ring persona – Likable but also someone that sets themselves apart from the rest.
  3. Natural rivalries – this refers to fighters in the same weight class, or in a division close to their own.
  4. Demographics – this refers to the fighter being able to be identified with a particular group or audience.
  5. Media/technology – the ability to use social media to build followers and then monetize the opportunity.
  6. Intent – the desire to build a fan base as their career grows
  7. “It” factor – An undefined intangible, that Taffet states usually takes the form a storyline that is “unique and memorable.”

The likes of Vasyl Lomachenko, Errol Spence, Deontay Wilder and Keith Thurman may be on the next tier of boxing’s stars that have all of the above except the fact that they have yet to translate their in-ring success to monetary gain on PPV.  None of these fighters have headlined a PPV.  This is likely due to the fact that they see GGG and Canelo having trouble to gain traction in garnering PPV buys and are weary of pushing an event that might flop.  Recall Terrence Crawford fought Viktor Postol on PPV and drew 50-60K PPV buys.

While Canelo’s last PPV outing was disappointing, Golden Boy will continue to promote its premier star.  He has all of the seven factors above and if set with the right opponent, the fight could draw big PPV buys.  GGG lacks the natural rivalry that would help him equate his talent and persona.  The long-awaited showdown with GGG is in the offing and could give him a spark.

Anthony Joshua might be the next PPV boxing star.  It is still unclear whether his UK marketability will equate in the U.S., but last week’s event which aired on Showtime and HBO drew great ratings.  More importantly, once people tuned in, they saw a great fight in which he was knocked down but eventually came back to stop Klitschko.  With 13 sponsors already in his portfolio including big brands Jaguar, Under Armour and Beats By Dre, the former Olympic Gold Medalist has the pedigree, the look and the “It” Factor to succeed.

Clearly, Joshua’s marketability can translate to U.S. dollars as it did for Manny Pacquiao.  Notwithstanding the last year or so of his career, Pacquiao’s fighting style and large Filipino following allowed him to be one of the biggest boxing stars of the last 20 years.  He was able to accomplish this despite not being from the United States.  With his Mexican roots, Canelo is doing almost the same.  Joshua may have an advantage over Pacquiao and Canelo as he speaks fluent English.  Not to discount Manny or Canelo, but each has difficulty with carrying on interviews in English.

This year could be a big year for boxing starting with Saturday’s Canelo-Chavez fight.  If Canelo wins, it should ready us for a showdown with GGG in September.  If Chavez scores an upset, we can see a rematch later this year.  In June, we will see the rematch between Ward-Kovalev and see if that spurs more buys this time around.

Despite the wealth of networks that will show boxing, pay-per-view is the gold standard for boxing as it generates the most revenue for all in this sport.  For one reason or another, boxing fans have decided to hold off on buying their fights and instead wait for the next one on television.  In a post Manny-Floyd era, the lack of star power to drive boxing PPVs must be a concern for promoters.  But, there are several boxers that could fill the void.  The question is how to build these stars.

Promoters look to curb Facebook and Periscope piracy for Canelo-Chavez fight

May 4, 2017

The Los Angeles Times reports that promoters are seeking to enforce anti-piracy efforts from this Saturday’s pay-per-view between Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.

Believing that PPV numbers have decreased due to piracy, Golden Boy Promotions and HBO are combating pirates.  HBO has hired an anti-piracy company and are looking at live streaming products such as Facebook and Periscope which are burgeoning tools for piracy.

Notably, the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight was subject to issues involving piracy.  This included people taking out their cell phones and live streaming the event from the fight.  Or, purchasing the pay-per-view or finding a pirated site and then streaming the television PPV from their phone.

Anti-Piracy companies have notified Facebook and Periscope about the issue and promoters are confident that they can curb the efforts to watch the $59.99 PPV for free.  There are also calls for distributors to take more of an active role in stopping pirated PPVs.

Payout Perspective:

Perhaps piracy is not a reason for depressed boxing PPV numbers.  There has not been a boxing PPV to reach over 1 million buys since Manny-Floyd.  Most of the boxing PPVs have yielded well below 300,000 buys since Manny-Floyd.  In fact, Canelo-Miguel Cotto was the last big PPV when it drew 900,000 buys in November 2015.  Promoters hope to curb piracy but it is harder with new live streaming tools like Facebook Live and Periscope.

It would not be out of the realm of possibility that down the road promoters, rights fees holders and those with intellectual property interests might look to legal action for contributory infringement and/or vicarious liability.  But, that might be hard to prove yet the threat of action may cause others to be more active.

Could this possibly a First Amendment issue?  Maybe.  A free plug for myself as next month a law review article I authored about the live streaming of sports will be in the Marquette Sports Law Review.

Joshua-Klitschko produce ratings for Showtime and HBO

May 2, 2017

The Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko fight on Saturday produced big ratings for both Showtime and HBO.

The live event on Showtime drew 659,000 subscribers and 0.24 in the A18-49 demo per ShowBuzz Daily.  The pre-event on Showtime drew 308,000 subscribers.  The post-fight on Showtime drew 401,000 viewers.

The replay main event on HBO drew 738,000 subscribers and 0.22 in the A18-49 demo.  The Canelo/Chavez shoulder programming which followed the HBO showing of the fight drew 315,000 viewers and 0.11 in the A18-49 demo.

On a separate note, PBC on FS1 drew 300,000 viewers Saturday night.  The 101-minute event starting at 10:19pm ET drew 0.08 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

Excellent ratings for both showings and you can see that more people watched the HBO replay.  There are more subscribers to HBO and with the afternoon showing on Showtime, some probably could not watch it live.  Of course, maybe some like Lampley, Kellerman and Jones more.  Still, Showtime produced a great event and embraced the big event feel at Wembley Stadium.  The ratings on Showtime do not surpass the Broner-Granados fight earlier this year but again, this was a mid-afternoon fight on the west coast so that may have impacted viewership.

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