HBO's Nelson Denies Ratings Decline Was Factor To Drop Boxing

Peter Nelson, the head of HBO Sports, denies the circulating claims that declining ratings and bad matchups were determining factors behind the network's decision to drop boxing after 45 years of televising live fights.

HBO officially announced on Thursday, that live boxing was no longer going to be showcased in the future. 

Over the last few years, HBO has faced very stiff competition from Showtime and their expanding stable of quality fighters. Top Rank has made their mark after leaving HBO, and signing a multi-year content deal with ESPN. And international promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom, left both HBO and Showtime, and began an eight year content deal with streaming service DAZN. And Premier Boxing Champions signed content deals with Showtime and FOX.


HBO's ratings, for boxing, have been declining in recent years. With their Super Fly 3 card, which took place earlier this month, generating one of the lowest ratings figures in the network's history. 

According to Nelson, the network made their decision based on a single factor - the incoming audience was no longer subscribing on the basis of their boxing content.

“This decision has been a shift, not a result of where we stand in other places in boxing, but directionally where we feel the direction is in HBO Sports,” said Nelson to the Los Angeles Times.

“We had the fight of the year -- the No. 1 pay-per-view event, eight of the top 10 highest rated premium-cable fights. You could say our vibrancy in the sport is as strong as ever.”

Nelson expects boxing to continue forward in a very strong way, with so many options sprouting up for fighters.

“We’re proud of our legacy in boxing. The sport is in a better place because of HBO’s presence in it. We have a tremendous heritage to point to in regard to the road map we provided on how to humanize these fighters and their communities … that aspect of storytelling is one we look to continue,” Nelson said.

“There’s more ample opportunity for fighters across different platforms than ever before. As a fan of the sport, I think that’s great.”

Tags: HBO image   Boxing Television image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Sweet_Science2 on 10-08-2018

[QUOTE=Muz;19175822]You mean robbed so that the great blacks hopes can continue to survive in a sport Eastern European and Russian fighters today dominate along with other whites ? Beterbiev just won by Ko over undefeated Johnson GGG once again beat…

Comment by Muz on 10-08-2018

Gvodzyk ready to knock that Haiti pimp coward Stevenson out as well. Another disgraceful Haymon protected coward representing your entire culture.

Comment by Muz on 10-08-2018

[QUOTE=Sweet_Science2;19169744]Naw pussie! Boxing is fine [email protected] that's why Haymon signed that big ass deal in America pussie. All the Russian hype jobs Kov/pussie g got they ass beat. Shop closed [email protected] Facts[/QUOTE] You mean robbed so that the great blacks…

Comment by Sweet_Science2 on 10-06-2018

[QUOTE=Muz;19164792]Ahhhh little ghetto boy is upset the truth comes out. Go back to your porch and hope Haymon pays your rent. HBO didn't want to invest the $$$ in a swamped marketplace knowing usa boxing is finished[/QUOTE] Naw pussie! Boxing…

Comment by Muz on 10-04-2018

[QUOTE=Sweet_Science2;19155685]Now pussie I'm speaking facts [email protected] Did HBO just not drop boxing? Did Haymon just not sign a large money boxing deal this year a few months back? Oh okay [email protected] that's what I thought. Checkmate pussie[/QUOTE] Ahhhh little ghetto…

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