Usually when premium boxing cable networks go head-to-head on the same night, the ratings for both tend to suffer. That was the case Saturday night.
In Alabama, Deontay Wilder made his homecoming as The WBC Heavyweight Champion of the world on Showtime. While the crowd was deep into the bout, and the fight had some good action, Wilder’s numbers on Showtime weren’t eye catching.
The Wilder-Molina bout had an average of 678,000 viewers throughout the telecast, according to Nielsen Research. It was a considerable drop of from the 1.24 million viewers Wilder garnered when he won the title from Bermane Stiverne on the same network this past January.
In the co-feature, Puerto Rico’s Jose Pedraza claimed a junior-lightweight title in a one-sided win over Andrey Klimov. The bout peaked at 530,000 viewers over 12 rounds, but the bout averaged just 381,000 viewers.
Over on HBO, it was sort of a coming out party for Puerto Rican Felix Verdejo, who dominated a game, Ivan Najera. Most of the crowd was there for Verdejo and witnessed an exciting, albeit one-sided affair with his fight.
Although he was not the main event, it averaged 611,000 viewers, peaking at 655,000 viewers.
The story was telling as who the people live and on television were there to watch.
The main event of the evening staged a fight between Nicholas Walters and Miguel Marriaga in what was supposed to be a slugfest. The bout ended up being a chess match that bored many of those in attendance. The bout pulled in 580,000 viewers which isn’t per the norm.
Normally telecasts go up in ratings from co-main bouts to main events.
Although Wilder’s numbers were down, Showtime beat HBO in the rating game on Saturday.
For future considerations, both networks need to stop holding fights on the same weekend, as it has shown to be a ratings killer every time.