Usually when Miguel Cotto fights on regular HBO, the numbers show that he’s still a ratings draw, Saturday’s performance versus Daniel Geale was no different.
The Cotto-Geale bout averaged 1.589 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, for HBO’s live, first-time airing. It peaked at 1.621 million viewers. By today’s industry standards, it’s a strong number because it was only a one-fight broadcast. Usually from past numbers it takes time to grown an audience to that specific number. But with Cotto-Geale it was only one bout which lasted less than one hour. It left no time for the audience to grow as is usually the case for HBO telecasts with doubleheaders and tripleheaders.
The Cotto-Geale fight was the third-best performing cable fight of the year. All 3 of the biggest draws have come on HBO in terms of cable fights. The leading bout was Canelo-Kirkland, followed by Klitschko-Jennings and now Cotto Geale.
Canelo-Kirkland had they Mayweather-Pacquiao replay as its lead-in while Klitschko-Jennings had an undercard fight between Sadam Ali and Francisco Santana. The bout with Klitschko-Jennings averagedn1.637 million with a peak of 1.742 million.
Now it sets the stage for Cotto-Canelo in the fall. Canelo-Kirkland averaged 2.146 million viewers with a peak of 2.296 million.
With Cotto and Canelo, you have arguably two of the five biggest U.S. draws in terms of gate and television. Not only that but it’s the classic Mexico-Puerto Rico rivalry in a fight that many see as split down the middle. Cotto is still the most popular fighter from the island of Puerto Rico. Canelo one could argue has surpassed Juan Manuel Marquez as the most popular fighter from Mexico. So it’s obvious that the fight has to be made and will likely do over 1 million buys on pay-per-view.
But we went down this road earlier this year to no avail. Cotto did say Canelo is his next fight. But when, where, and what weight remains to be seen.