Remember when we predicted how 2015 may be a big year for boxing? Watch out, UFC?
So far, it’s looking accurate.
In that article, we described how boxing promoter Al Haymon made some aggressive moves to bring his programs to US TV, including the first prime time network program in years.
Last night, that show debuted — to big numbers.
Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions drew a 2.53 overnight rating from its 8:30-11 pm ET slot. It was highest-rated sporting event on US television from 9-11p ET (2.67).
The 2.53 overnight rating nearly tripled NBC average for Saturday afternoon fights from 2012-14 (.88) according to NBC.
It wasn’t a perfect show by any means. The first bout was a typical defensive performance by Adrian Broner which failed to excite the crowd, and the all-star commentary team, surprisingly, lacked spark. But the event felt like an “event,” with its grand ring walks and overall high production values. The main event between Keith Thurman and Robert Guerrero did not disappoint, and a quick video to highlight the fighters’ personal lives also helped move things along.
Overall the show scored higher ratings that almost MMA event in history, the exceptions being the best-rated UFC on FOX shows and two Elite XC events which featured Bellator’s new signee, Kimbo Slice.
PBC did very well last night. Better ratings than 9 out of 14 UFC on Fox cards. Damn it. Kenny Florian told me boxing is dead.
— MMA_Nostalgia47 (@MMA_Nostalgia47) March 8, 2015