Top Rank Boxing draws 799,000 viewers on ESPN Saturday

June 11, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 799,000 viewers Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event drew 314,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The telecast, which featured Oscar Valdez defeating Jason Sanchez to retain his featherweight title drew a 0.56 share.

The event came after the UFC 238 Prelims which drew 964,000 viewers.  It drew 489,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.63 share.

Payout Perspective:

Based on the bare numbers, the numbers reflect little drop off from the UFC as a lead-in.  Certainly, you have little crossover audience although the hope for the UFC and the network is that those that watched the prelims buy the PPV on ESPN+ but if they didn’t, tune into boxing.  The viewership numbers for Top Rank are promising considering there was a self-imposed competition with MMA on Saturday night.

UFC 238 Prelims draw 964,000 viewers

June 11, 2019

The UFC 238 Prelims drew 964,000 viewers on ESPN Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  It was the best rating for a PPV Prelims since UFC 235.

The PPV prelims aired on ESPN prior to the UFC 238 Prelims on ESPN +.  The feature bout of the prelims saw Tatiana Suarez defeat Nina Ansaroff in a competitive fight between strawweights.  Also, Aljamain Sterling defeated Pedro Munhoz in a bantamweight contender matchup.

The event drew 489,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.63 share.

UFC PPV Prelims ratings 2019

UFC 234:  1.339M

UFC 235:  1.480M

UFC 236:  893,000

UFC 237:  813,000

UFC 238:  964,000

The prelims actually served as a lead-in to Top Rank Boxing on ESPN.  It’s the second straight PPV that the prelims have led to boxing on the network.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings reflect a nice uptick in viewership which may mean more PPV purchases.  This time around the prelims seemed stacked more competitive fights and fighters the casual fan may know.  This is also another evening where ESPN dedicated to combat sports which is interesting to see.

UFC Fight Night Stockholm Prelims this past Saturday draws 257K

June 7, 2019

UFC Fight Night Stockholm Prelims last Saturday on ESPN2 drew 257,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event took place on Saturday morning in North America.

The three hour prelims featured welterweights Sergey Khandozhko as he defeated Rostem Akman via decision.  Also, Lina Lansberg defeated Tonya Evinger in a bantamweight matchup.  The featured event, which aired on ESPN+ featured Anthony Smith against hometown favorite Alexander Gustafsson.  Smith silenced the crowd when he submitted Gustafsson in round 4 of their light heavyweight matchup.

Earlier this year, UFC on ESPN + 7 Prelims from St. Petersburg, Russia drew 232,000 viewers.  It also was a Saturday morning telecast on ESPN2.  In February 2019, UFC Fight Night on ESPN +3 drew 271,000 viewers for an early morning North American start from Prague.

Payout Perspective:

 The televised portion of this event happened Saturday morning on the west coast which likely contributed to the low ratings.  Of course, it was the prelims.  This past Saturday’s event is about the average for these Saturday morning telecasts.

Top Rank Boxing draws 556,000 viewers Saturday night

May 29, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 556,000 viewers on Saturday night.  The main event saw an upset as Jamel Herring defeated Masayuki Ito to win the WBO junior heavyweight title in Kissimmee, Florida.

The event aired Saturday night at 10pm and featured the matchup of the former Marine taking the title from Ito.  The event drew 171,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.38 market share.

Notably, the event outdrew ESPN2 which showed women’s college softball super regional action at the time.  The games averaged in the 300K viewer range.  The event did air opposite the Bucks-Raptors Conference Finals which drew 6.4 million viewers.

Top Rank on ESPN Ratings

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (2/2):  880,000 viewers

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (2/10):  655,000 viewers

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (2/15) 704,000 viewers

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (3/23) 469,000 viewers

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (5/4) 480,000 viewers

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (5/11) 740,000 viewers

Payout Perspective:

The event was likely overshadowed by the NBA and although the backstory behind Herring was a good one.  The 556,000 is a little better than 2 of the past 4 Top Rank shows which you might see as an improvement.

PFL2 Prelims on ESPN2 draw 120,000 viewers

May 24, 2019

Professional Fighters League drew 120,000 viewers on ESPN2 Thursday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  Notably, the UFC 236 replay drew 191,000 viewers later that night on ESPN2.

The PFL2 aired for the second time on ESPN2.  The event took place at the Nassau Coliseum in New York.  The featured event of the 2 hour Prelims on ESPN2 saw Natan Schulte defeat Yincang Bao via rear naked choke.

The event on ESPN2 aired early in the night (7pm ET).  The UFC 236 replay (10pm ET) which featured Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier drew more than the live event.

The second season of the PFL debut on May 9th drew 137,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The decrease in viewership may not be the best look for the PFL which is trying to gain some traction on ESPN in its second season.  Of course, the main card is airing on ESPN+ so don’t expect too much concern from the network.  Moreover, being placed on the deuce and being the prelims might not be the best way to put your best product out there.

Wilder-Breazeale peaks at 990K viewers on Showtime

May 21, 2019

The Deontay Wilder-Dominic Breazeale fight drew 791,000 viewers Saturday night on Showtime. The ratings reflect the fight alone on the network.  Including streaming, the average live viewership drew 886,000 viewers.

The bout peaked at 990,000 viewers and there was not time to peak as Wilder knocked out Breazeale in 2 minutes and 17 seconds of the very first round.

The first fight of the telecast between Juan Heraldez and Argenis Mendez drew 505,000 viewers.  The two fought to a draw.  The second fight of the night between Gary Russell, Jr. and Kiko Martinez drew 549,000 viewers.  Russell stopped Martinez due to cuts.

Payout Perspective:

The event, based on linear ratings, had lower ratings than other Showtime events featuring Wilder.  His fight versus Luis Ortiz peaked at 1.2M viewers and averaged 1.1M.  It did draw higher than his second fight with Bermaine Stiverne which drew 824,000.  The question some will ask is whether this fight would have done better financially if it was on DAZN or on PPV.  We won’t know, but Wilder should be pushing for a Fury or Joshua fight in the future instead of a rematch with Ortiz or another heavyweight.

PBC on Fox draws 1.21 million viewers Saturday night

May 12, 2019

PBC on Fox drew 1.21 million viewers on Saturday night per Nielsen via Television By Numbers.

The event featured a matchup of Super Welterweight featuring Jarret Hurd and Julian Williams.  JRock shocked the favorite Hurd and took the 154 pound title.

It was a busy night Saturday night with a UFC PPV, Bellator event on DAZN and NHL on NBC vying for viewers.  The event drew a 0.3 share in the A18-49 demo and a 2 share overall.  It recorded the lowest rated viewership in its timeslot among the 4 networks.

The telecast did draw better than last month’s Easter weekend broadcast which featured Danny Garcia.  Yet, still below December’s 1.69M viewers on Fox.  Moreover, the viewership is still below that of the UFC broadcasts on Fox.

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN draws 480K viewers opposite Canelo-Jacobs

May 7, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 480,000 viewers Saturday night for the event in Stockton, California.  It also drew 166,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The event featured Artur Beterbiev as he defeated Radivoje Kalajdzic.  The opener for the telecast saw a slugfest between Jerwin Ancajas as he stopped Ryuichi Funai.  In addition, Gabriel Flores, Jr. defeated Eduardo Pereira dos Reis.

The ratings are the second lowest for Top Rank Boxing and ESPN since the two began its working relationship in 2017.

Payout Perspective:

It’s hard not to think that most boxing fans were watching the Canelo-Jacobs fight on DAZN.  While the event from Stockton showed the best from its featured fighters, it had the unfortunate scheduling conflict of one of the biggest fights this year.

Showtime Boxing peaks at just 343K for main event

April 30, 2019

Showtime Boxing on Saturday night drew 312,000 viewers for its main event featuring Robert Easter, Jr and Rances Barthelemy.  The fighters fought to a split decision draw as part of the PBC event.

The event drew 92,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The triple fight on Showtime did not produce strong viewership as it was sandwiched between UFC, Bellator and DAZN boxing.  The main event peaked at 343,000 viewers.

The co-feature of the night, Viktor Postol’s victory over Mohamed Mimoune drew 217,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Not a very good viewership night for PBC on Showtime as the aforementioned other combat sports likely overshadowed this event.  With the DAZN event Friday being the biggest event in boxing this weekend, Saturday’s Showtime event may have been an afterthought.

UFC Fort Lauderdale Prelims draw 720,000 viewers on ESPN, early prelims 288,000

April 30, 2019

The UFC Fort Lauderdale Prelims drew 720,000 viewers on ESPN Saturday afternoon.  The early prelims, which aired on ESPN2, drew 288,000 viewers.

The UFC on ESPN +8 show from Florida aired its prelims and early prelims on the network with the main card on the digital platform.

The early prelims featured Jim Miller as he submitted Jason Gonzalez via submission.  The prelims featured Takashi Sato as he defeated Ben Saunders.

The prelims on ESPN drew 352,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The main card featured Jack Hermansson defeating Ronaldo Souza via decision.

Payout Perspective:

A decent number for the prelims as the event may have been lost in the shuffle of boxing and Bellator this past weekend.  Despite the network home, there still may be some confusion over when and where the prelims will air.  This was the first time that the early prelims aired on the ESPN home of networks.

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