Showtime drew almost the same viewership for its main event Saturday night as the premium cable network maintained two weeks earlier.
Nielsen Media Research revealed Wednesday that an average of 217,000 viewers watched Nonito Donaire’s fourth-round knockout of Nordine Oubaali. The 38-year-old Donaire dropped the previously undefeated French southpaw three times, twice in the third round and once in the fourth round, before their scheduled 12-round, 118-pound championship match was stopped by referee Jack Reiss at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Las Vegas’ Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs) regained the WBC bantamweight championship from Oubaali (17-1, 12 KOs), which Donaire first owned in 2011.
Showtime’s viewership was just short of the average audience, 221,000, that watched unbeaten Brandon Figueroa stop Luis Nery in the seventh round of their 122-pound title bout May 15, also from Dignity Health Sports Park.
The Donaire-Oubaali bout took place on a holiday weekend in the United States. Part of Showtime’s main event also aired at the same time DAZN streamed its main event from Las Vegas – WBC world lightweight champion Devin Haney’s 12-round, unanimous-decision victory over Jorge Linares.
DAZN doesn’t release viewership figures, nor does Nielsen track audiences for streaming services. Showtime’s viewership totals don’t include those that streamed the Donaire-Oubaali tripleheader because ViacomCBS, the parent company of Showtime and BoxingScene.com, doesn’t release streaming numbers.
Viewership for the first two fights Showtime televised Saturday night was smaller than the audience for the main event.
The network’s co-feature, Subriel Matias’ technical-knockout defeat of Batyrzhan Jukembayev, averaged 179,000 viewers.
Puerto Rico’s Matias (17-1, 17 KOs) dropped Kazakhstan’s Jukembayev (18-1, 14 KOs) in the fourth round. Their scheduled 12-round, 140-pound fight was stopped following the eighth round by Jukembayev’s trainer.
The opener of Showtime’s tripleheader, junior welterweight Gary Antuanne Russell’s sixth-round knockout of Jovanie Santiago, drew an average of 159,000 viewers. Russell (14-0, 14 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Maryland, dropped Puerto Rico’s Santiago (14-2-1, 10 KOs) in the fourth round of a one-sided fight that was halted after the sixth round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.