By Keith Idec
An average of 468,000 viewers watched Showtime’s broadcast of the Shawn Porter-Andre Berto welterweight fight Saturday night from Brooklyn.
The average viewership was lower than the two previous main events Showtime televised in prime time this year, according to figures released by Nielsen Media Research.
The previous main event Showtime aired in prime time, Adrien Broner’s split-decision defeat of Adrian Granados, drew an average of 779,000 viewers February 18 from Cincinnati. Three weeks earlier, Leo Santa Cruz’s majority-decision defeat of Carl Frampton in their featherweight championship rematch, averaged 587,000 viewers from Las Vegas.
The decline in ratings for the Porter-Berto show, a rarity in what thus far has been a strong 2017 for Showtime’s boxing programming, could’ve partially been attributable to competition from NBA playoff games that generated strong ratings while airing at the same time.
The San Antonio-Memphis game, which began at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, averaged 3.4 million viewers. The Golden State-Portland game, which started at 11 p.m. ET on ESPN, drew an average viewership of 4.3 million.
The Porter-Berto broadcast began at 9:30 p.m. ET and ended just before 11:20 p.m. ET.
Showtime’s doubleheader began with Jermell Charlo’s spectacular sixth-round knockout of Charles Hatley at Barclays Center. An average of 401,000 viewers watched Houston’s Charlo (29-1, 14 KOs) make the first defense of his WBC super welterweight title against Dallas’ Hatley (26-2-1, 18 KOs), his mandatory challenger.
Porter (27-2-1, 17 KOs), of Akron, Ohio, stopped Berto (31-5, 24 KOs), of Winter Haven, Florida, in the ninth round of the main event. His victory in their WBC elimination match made Porter the mandatory challenger for WBC welterweight champion Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC), who beat Porter by unanimous decision in an entertaining battle June 25 at Barclays Center.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.