By Keith Idec
According to Nielsen Media Research, the captivating Carl Frampton-Leo Santa Cruz featherweight title fight peaked at 549,000 viewers during Showtime’s three-fight telecast Saturday night from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The average viewership during the fantastic Frampton-Santa Cruz clash was 480,000. That marked a 65-percent increase from the average viewership of Santa Cruz’s previous appearance on Showtime, a fifth-round stoppage of Spain’s Kiko Martinez on February 27 in Anaheim, California.
That average-viewership performance made Frampton-Santa Cruz, a highly entertaining encounter Frampton won by majority decision, the third highest-rated of seven “Showtime Championship Boxing” telecasts in 2016.
Average viewership of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s ninth-round knockout of Artur Szpilka drew an average of 500,000 viewers January 16 from Barclays Center. WBA super welterweight title-holder Erislandy Lara’s unanimous-decision defeat of Vanes Martirosyan lured an average of 491,000 viewers May 21 from The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Nielsen also reported that 1.28 percent of Showtime’s subscribers, reportedly 24 million, tuned in to watch Northern Ireland’s Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) out-box an ever-determined Santa Cruz (32-1, 18 KOs), of Rosemead, California, in a memorable battle that warrants serious “Fight of the Year” consideration. That’s a higher percentage than any of the first six “Showtime Championship Boxing” broadcasts this year.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.