By Keith Idec
The ratings for FOX’s boxing tripleheader Saturday night were notably lower than those from the network’s previous boxing offering on free TV.
Premier Boxing Champions’ three-fight FOX broadcast Saturday night – headlined by Josesito Lopez’s 10-round, unanimous-decision win against previously unbeaten welterweight prospect Miguel Cruz – was watched by an average of 839,000 viewers, according to ratings released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research. The average audience for FOX’s telecast February 17, which featured a 12-round draw between former welterweight champions Devon Alexander and Victor Ortiz, was 1,136,000.
Viewership for the Alexander-Ortiz bout peaked at 1,530,000.
The FOX tripleheader Saturday night from El Paso, Texas, began with Claudio Marrero’s first-round knockout of Jorge Lara in a super featherweight fight scheduled for 10 rounds. The telecast also included former WBC super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell’s unanimous-decision victory over Abie Han in a 10-round super middleweight match.
Some of FOX’s show overlapped with HBO’s “World Championship Boxing” doubleheader Saturday night, which began at 10 p.m. ET. FOX’s card began airing at 8:36 p.m. ET.
HBO’s broadcast included middleweight contender Daniel Jacobs’ 12-round win against Maciej Sulecki. The Jacobs-Sulecki battle drew a peak audience of 874,000 and an average audience of 811,000.
The opener of HBO’s offering, a 12-round heavyweight bout Jarrell Miller won by unanimous decision over Johann Duhaupas, drew lower ratings than the Jacobs-Sulecki main event (peak: 834,000; average: 706,000).
Earlier Saturday night, an ESPN tripleheader drew an average audience of 701,000.
Promoter Top Rank’s show on ESPN featured an action-packed, 122-pound title bout Isaac Dogboe won by 11th-round knockout over Jessie Magdaleno to win the WBO super bantamweight championship.
That broadcast also included heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings, who won a 10-round unanimous decision against Joey Dawejko in the opener. The second fight ESPN aired Saturday night from Philadelphia was super middleweight contender Jesse Hart’s seventh-round stoppage of Demond Nicholson.
The average rating for Saturday’s show was significantly higher than the average viewership for Top Rank’s last ESPN broadcast in prime time. That March 17 card in The Theater at Madison Square Garden, which featured Jose Ramirez’s points win against Amir Imam in a WBC 140-pound title bout, was watched by an average audience of 488,000.
ESPN’s basic-cable broadcast Saturday night began at 7 p.m. ET, about 90 minutes earlier than the beginning of FOX’s show and three hours before HBO’s doubleheader started.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.