By Jake Donovan
The July 18 edition of Boxeo Telemundo didn’t just kick off the network’s summer season, but set the bar for all future episodes to follow. Nielsen Media Research reports revealed the show to pull in 641,000 viewers, registering as the highest-rated event of any boxing telecast in Telemundo’s 25 years involved with the sport.
Headlining the show, Jonathan Vidal scored an 8th round knockout of Juan Kantun in Kissimmee, Florida. The bout that kicked off promoter Felix ‘Tuto’ Zabala’s super flyweight tournament, with Vidal likely to face the winner of this weekend’s battle between Daniel Lozano and Antonio Tostado, which airs live from Tampa (Friday, 11:35 p.m. ET).
The news comes amidst a revised formula that continues to reap major reward for the network. A decision was made prior to the 2013 season for Telemundo to change its format from one Friday per month to three “seasons” consisting of blocks of four consecutive telecasts on Friday evenings.
By the end of the first full year of the experiment, Boxeo Telemundo scored as the highest-rated boxing series among any Spanish-speaking U.S. network. The trend has continued in 2014 as well; not only did the July 18 show establish a new network record, but also served as the highest rated televised bout of the week, beating ESPN2 Friday Night Fights in the ratings.
“It’s really been a remarkable time for this series,” notes Zabala Jr., who earlier this year was honored with enshrinement in the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame. “A year ago, we weren’t sure how fans would respond to change after being used to the way things were for more than two decades. But as we continue to present the best fights possible, the fans continue to remain loyal and grow in numbers.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox