Joshua-Klitschko Live Broadcast Drew 659K Viewers for Showtime

By Keith Idec

An average of 659,000 viewers tuned in to Showtime’s live telecast Saturday of the highly entertaining Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko heavyweight title fight from London.

The average viewership, based on figures released by Nielsen Media Research on Monday, was the highest in Showtime’s history for a live boxing broadcast that began in the afternoon. The Joshua-Klitschko fight started just after 5 p.m. ET and 2 p.m. PT.

Nielsen is expected to release the peak viewership for Showtime’s telecast Tuesday. Initial numbers indicate, however, that Showtime’s average audience was 687,000 from 5:15-5:30 p.m. ET, when the pivotal fifth and sixth rounds took place.


Nielsen’s ratings for HBO’s delayed telecast, which aired at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Saturday, will be released Tuesday as well.

In the ring, Joshua-Klitschko, which drew a record crowd of roughly 90,000 to Wembley Stadium, delivered memorable drama after being billed as the biggest heavyweight fight since Lennox Lewis knocked out Mike Tyson in June 2002. England’s Joshua dropped Klitschko in the fifth round, but tired himself out while trying to finish the 41-year-old former champion in that round.

Joshua’s exhaustion enabled Klitschko to mount a riveting comeback. Klitschko dropped Joshua with a right hand in the sixth round, but Joshua also was able to withstand that severe trouble, despite that there was 1:53 to go in the sixth round when he went down.

The 27-year-old Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) eventually got his legs back under him, got his second win and attacked Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) to start the 11th round. He dropped Klitschko twice more before referee David Fields stopped the bout at 2:25 of the 11th round, with a vulnerable Klitschko still standing.

There is an immediate rematch clause in their contract, but Klitschko said following his first knockout loss in 13 years that he’ll take his time in determining whether he’ll pursue a second fight against Joshua.

Showtime will replay the Joshua-Klitschko fight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Monday on SHO Extreme.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by JASON SHAW on 05-02-2017

[quote=randall cunning;17636335]they were equal before the fight, joshuas popularity has exploded since then[/quote] popularity wont get him paid more than canelo.... Canelo has been making $10 million plus a fight for a while now..... Joshua needs to sell ppv's in…

Comment by bigdunny1 on 05-02-2017

[QUOTE=SkillspayBills;17635803]Joshua is point blank the cash cow of boxing. He's overtaken Canelo[/QUOTE] Canelo is set to make over 20m this weekend. How much did Joshua make? Canelo will have a much higher live gate and generate more money with PPVs…

Comment by Randall Cunning on 05-02-2017

[QUOTE=JASON SHAW;17636305]canelo makes the same money as joshua... Around 12 to 15 million a fight... The ppv's cost twice as much in america.... Joshua is the new co king.... Canelo and joshua have the thrones right now.....[/QUOTE] They were equal…

Comment by moltres. on 05-02-2017

cause of all the different ways people can watch boxing, including HBO, id say 2M people watched it in america alone. The sky sports ppv numbers will be good too. There was people just out on the street at 11pm…

Comment by JASON SHAW on 05-02-2017

[quote=skillspaybills;17635803]joshua is point blank the cash cow of boxing. He's overtaken canelo[/quote] canelo makes the same money as joshua... Around 12 to 15 million a fight... The ppv's cost twice as much in america.... Joshua is the new co king....…

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