Mikey Garcia fight draws 618,000 viewers on Showtime

March 14, 2018

Mikey Garcia’s return to the ring on Showtime Saturday night drew 618,000 viewers on the premium cable network.  The fight against Sergey Lipinets peaked at 689,000 viewers.

Garcia defeated Lipinets via unanimous decision.  The 52-minute fight drew 0.22 viewers in the A18-49 demo.  In comparison, ESPN’s Top Rank Boxing drew a 0.37 audience in the A18-49 demo.

The co-main event featuring super lightweight Kyril Relikh and Rances Barthelemy drew 489,000 viewers peaking at 544,000.  The 52-minute fight drew 0.15 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

Good ratings for the Garcia fight considering it went head-to-head with ESPN’s main event.  Garcia is more of a name but ESPN has more of a viewing audience the premium cable.  Still, Showtime’s ratings reflect an increase in its viewership.  Last week, Deontay Wilder’s fight against Luis Ortiz drew over 1 million viewers.

Deontay Wilder scores big ratings on Showtime Saturday night

March 6, 2018

Deontay Wilder produced big ratings for Showtime on Saturday night as his win over Luis Ortiz drew 1.055 million viewers on the premium network.

Wilder’s fight with Ortiz drew a peak audience of 1.2 million viewers and averaged almost 1.1 million viewers.  It’s the largest viewership since Wilder faced Bermane Stiverne in January 2015.

Wilder stopped Ortiz in the 10th round but the Cuban fighter had the champion hurt in the seventh round after being floored in round 5.

The co-main event on Saturday night drew 673,000 viewers with Jose Uzcategai and Andre Dirrell.  The rematch of their controversial first fight peaked at 807,000 viewers.  The event was delayed for almost 20 minutes due to an irregularity in Uzcategui’s urine sample.  The New York State Athletic Commission decided to let the event continue.

Payout Perspective:

Deontay Wilder’s star continues to grow and his fight with Ortiz showed his resolve to come back from almost being knocked out.  Wilder-Ortiz was the best fight of the night and Showtime won a rare head-to-head with HBO Boxing which featured Sergey Kovalev.

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.

Showtime lands Joshua-Parker rights in U.S.

February 5, 2018

ESPN reports that Showtime has secured the U.S. rights to the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker heavyweight title fight on March 31st.

The fight will unify three world title belts.  The fight will take place at Principality Stadium in Wales where its anticipated that 80,000 will be in attendance.  The event will air 2pm PT/5pm ET.

The event adds to the robust boxing schedule Showtime has scheduled for the first part of 2018.  This includes Deontay Wilder is scheduled to fight Luis Ortiz on March 3rd in Brooklyn.

Assuming wins by Joshua and Wilder would place the two on a collision course later this year.

Payout Perspective:

Joshua’s star is rising in the U.S. as shown by his victory over Wladimir Klitschko last April.  He’s a star in Europe and is beginning to gain traction in the U.S.  Showtime’s move seems like a good move considering they could likely be the distributor for a potential Joshua-Wilder PPV later this year.

Errol Spence draws 637,000 on Showtime Saturday night

January 23, 2018

Errol Spence’s win over Lamont Peterson on Showtime Boxing Saturday night drew 637,000 viewers on the premium cable channel.

Spence’s victory drew 257,000 in the A18-49 demo per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The peak audience drew 695,000 viewers during the fight.  In addition, the undercard featuring Robert Easter, Jr. and Javier Fortuna drew 462,000 viewers and peaked at 540,000.  It drew 205,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

Spence’s last event last May drew 291,000 viewers.  In that event, Spence defeated Kell Brook.  The event was shown live on Saturday afternoon on Showtime as the fight took place in England.

Payout Perspective:

The event went up against Bellator 192 and the UFC 220 PPV which likely split some combat sports fans.  But, if you are just a boxing fan, you would have tuned in to see Spence.  The ratings are promising for Spence who is ascending as a star in boxing.

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.

Wilder-Stiverne II draws 824,000 viewers on Showtime

November 7, 2017

The Deontay Wilder-Bermane Stiverne rematch on Showtime Saturday night drew 824,000 viewers and peaked at 887,000 according to Nielsen Media research.  The fight lasted just 2 minutes and 59 seconds as Wilder destroyed Stiverne sending him to the canvas 3 times.

According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, it was the second-most watched Showtime fight of 2017.  The Mikey Garcia-Adrian Broner fight averaged 881,000 viewers and peaked at 937,000 in July 2017.  Garcia won that matchup.

In the co-main event fight of the telecast on Saturday, Shawn Porter defeated Adrian Granados.  The event averaged 646,000 viewers and peaked with 696,000 viewers.  Also, Sergey Lipinets win over Akihiro Kondo drew 427,000 viewers peaking at 530,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Strong ratings for the rematch although their first fight in January 2015 drew 1.24 million viewers.  But, it was just a fight that lasted less than 3 minutes so if you tuned in late, you missed it.  The viewership is great considering it went up against UFC 217 which received a lot of buzz and viewership in its own right.  The ratings show Wilder’s star is gaining traction with casual boxing fans which is great for Showtime.

Anthony Joshua’s fight draws 334,000 viewers on Showtime Saturday afternoon

November 1, 2017

Showtime Boxing’s live event featuring Anthony Joshua in Wales drew 334,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  Joshua easily defeated Carlos Takam after the challenger filled in for injured Kubrat Pulev.

Joshua, the main draw for the show sold out Principality Stadium in the UK.  According to reports, there were close to 80,000 people at the event.  The event was shown live Saturday afternoon in the U.S. and replayed later that night.

According to Nielsen, the event drew 0.10 in the A18-49 demo.  The tape delayed replay of the fight later that night drew 260,000 viewers and 0.09 in the A18-49 demo.

Notably, this spring, the afternoon fight between Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko drew 659,000 subscribers and 0.24 in the A18-49 demo.  The event on HBO drew 738,000 subscribers later that night.

Payout Perspective:

Saturday afternoon’s event probably suffered due to the time.  It probably was not good timing for Showtime as Joshua is showing that he is a big draw in the U.K. and his popularity could possibly transfer to the U.S.  It’s possible that Joshua could build into a boxing PPV star at some point.  Coming off of the big Klitschko fight, the ratings seems like a disappointment.

With Fox deal ending, could Showtime be a landing place for UFC?

September 11, 2017

MMA Fighting reports that Showtime is interested in jumping back into partnership with the UFC once the company’s current rights fee is up.

In an interview last week with MMA Fighting, Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza stated that it would reach out to the UFC about being one of its broadcast partners.  Of course, since its likely that the UFC will have events on multiple platforms and multiple networks, Showtime’s concern would be what level of events it would receive for the network.

And, of course, how much it would need to pay.

Showtime worked with Zuffa in brokering a deal for the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight last month.  It appeared that there the working relationship went fairly well as the two sides were able to put together the deal in a relatively short time span.  Compare that to the Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight in May 2015 which seemed to have taken several years to put together.

Payout Perspective:

There are obvious details that would have to be hammered out aside from the financials.  Dana White had issues with Showtime and its production of Strikeforce once Zuffa took over.  Whether or not White has softened his stance on Showtime based on his dealings with The Money Fight is yet to be seen.  Of course, with the new ownership, we can see if WME-IMG is willing to work with Showtime.  Then again, this upcoming rights deal will be something the company expects to be lucrative and whether Showtime is willing to pay for it is something to be seen.  I would expect other bidders competing including Fox (which ended or is at the end of an exclusive negotiating window), Turner Sports, NBC Universal and Amazon.

Showtime’s Espinoza claims The Money Fight a “massive financial success”

September 1, 2017

While the 6.5 million PPV buys boasted by Dana White may be premature, the PPV buys for this past Saturday’s Mayweather-McGregor fight may draw closer to the North American record of 4.6 million PPV buys earned by Mayweather-Pacquiao.

According to Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza, the event was a “massive financial success.”  If it doesn’t break the record, it will come close according to Espinoza.  CBS Corp.’s estimates have the fight drawing more than 4.5 million buys and could be closer to 5 million once all buys are calculated by next week.

The $99.95 price tag would calculate to approximately $450 million and perhaps $500 million if it hits 5 million PPV buys.  According to a Wall Street Journal article, the percentage that the cable and satellite operators may take are closer to taking closer to 40% of the revenue as opposed to the standard 50%.  The same thing occurred with the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

Notably, Espinoza states that the technical issues were “over-exaggerated.”

Payout Perspective:

Maybe the 6.5 million buys White was talking about was worldwide and not just North America.  The results are astounding and a “massive financial success” almost seems like an understatement.  The PPV buys reflect the great marketing behind this fight and the star power of Mayweather and McGregor.  Interesting comment from Espinoza minimizing the technical issues on Saturday.

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