ESPN drew viewership Saturday comparable to many of the network’s recent weeknight, primetime audiences for a late-afternoon/early-evening show that showcased Carl Frampton and Michael Conlan in tune-up fights.
Nielsen Media Research reported Tuesday that ESPN’s three-bout broadcast Saturday from London attracted a peak audience of 427,000 and an average audience of 264,000. The peak viewership occurred near the end of Frampton’s seventh-round stoppage of Darren Traynor in the main event of a lightweight fight at York Hall that was scheduled for 10 rounds.
Earlier Saturday, Conlan recorded a 10th-round, technical-knockout victory over Sofiane Takoucht in the second of three bouts ESPN aired. In ESPN’s opener, Archie Sharp edged Jeff Ofori on points in a 10-round lightweight bout.
Nielsen’s numbers from Saturday’s telecast include viewers that watched it live on ESPN. Those that streamed the event on laptops or other devices aren’t included in viewership numbers.
ESPN’s most recent primetime boxing telecast, which aired July 21 from Las Vegas, drew a peak audience of 471,000 and an average viewership of 399,000. Mexico’s Oscar Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs), a former WBO featherweight champ, stopped Puerto Rico’s Jayson Velez (29-7-1, 21 KOs) in the 10th and final round of the main event that night at MGM Grand Conference Center.
Three weeks later, Belfast’s Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs) secured his place in a potential 130-pound title fight against Jamel Herring by beating Traynor. Scotland’s Traynor (16-4, 7 KOs) was a late replacement for Latvia’s Vahram Vardanyan (21-1-1, 14 KOs), whose visa issues would’ve prohibited him from entering the United Kingdom to face Frampton.
If Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) successfully defends his WBO junior lightweight title against Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Oquendo (31-6, 19 KOs) on September 5 in Las Vegas, a Herring-Frampton fight could take place sometime in November at a site to be determined.
Conlan (14-0, 8 KOs), another Belfast native, is expected to move down to the junior featherweight limit of 122 pounds for his next fight. He became the second straight opponent to stop France’s Takoucht (35-5-1, 13 KOs).
Sharp (19-0, 9 KOs) barely beat Ofori (10-3-1, 3 KOs), a fellow London native, 96-95, on the scorecard of referee Marcus McDonnell.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.