By Keith Idec
Say what you will about Adrien Broner, but he still delivers ratings.
The polarizing former four-division champion’s entertaining fight against Adrian Granados peaked at 859,000 viewers on Saturday night and drew an average viewership of 779,000, according to ratings released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. That made Broner-Granados – a back-and-forth, 10-round bout Broner won by split decision in his hometown of Cincinnati – the most-watched live boxing match on Showtime since Deontay Wilder’s WBC heavyweight championship victory over Bermane Stiverne in January 2015 (peak: 1.34 million; average: 1.24 million).
The Broner-Granados ratings don’t include non-subscribers who watched the fight as part Showtime’s free preview weekend. Nielsen doesn’t track ratings for non-subscribers, thus those numbers aren’t attainable.
Nevertheless, Broner-Granados continued an impressive start to 2017 for Showtime boxing programming.
Last month, Showtime produced a rare victory over HBO in a head-to-head ratings battle.
The Carl Frampton-Leo Santa Cruz rematch peaked at 643,000 viewers and drew an average viewership of 587,000 on January 28. Santa Cruz avenged his majority-decision defeat to Frampton that night and took back his WBA world featherweight championship by earning a majority decision at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
HBO’s offering January 28, Miguel Berchelt’s domination of former WBC world super featherweight champion Francisco Vargas, attracted a peak audience of 549,000 viewers and averaged 497,000. Berchelt beat Vargas by 11th-round knockout in that bloody, brutal battle in Indio, California.
The peak audience for HBO’s entire telecast that night was the 561,000 viewers that tuned in to watch at least some of a super featherweight fight Japan’s Takashi Miura won by 12th-round knockout against Mexico’s Miguel Roman.
The 27-year-old Broner’s previous appearance on Showtime, a 12th-round technical knockout of Khabib Allakhverdiev in Cincinnati, peaked at 609,000 viewers and averaged 506,000.
That October 2015 telecast went head-to-head, however, with an HBO broadcast that featured Viktor Postol’s 10th-round knockout upset of Lucas Matthysse. The Postol-Matthysse match peaked at 814,000 viewers and averaged 642,000.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.