An Errol Spence Jr.-Shawn Porter preview show drew more viewers Saturday night than some main events televised this year on basic cable and premium cable. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
According to Nielsen Media Research figures released Tuesday, an average of 604,000 viewers watched FOX’s live airing of “PBC Countdown: Errol Spence Jr. Vs. Shawn Porter” on network television. The 30-minute program aired on the East Coast late Saturday night, following FOX’s live telecast of a college football game, Penn State’s 45-13 win over Buffalo, that aired in prime time.
The Penn State-Buffalo game was watched by an average audience of 2,167,000, and thus provided a strong lead-in for the Spence-Porter preview show.
Nevertheless, the viewership Saturday night was higher than for any FOX “Countdown” show in 2019 and the second highest-rated “Countdown” show since the inaugural broadcast December 8. That preview show, for FOX’s December 22 card headlined by Jermall Charlo and Jermell Charlo, attracted an average of 705,000 viewers.
FOX, which is available in approximately 120 million households in the United States, announced a four-year partnership with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions a year ago through which it broadcasts bouts and shoulder programming on FOX, FS1, FS2 and FOX Deportes.
The 29-year-old Spence (25-0, 21 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas, and the 31-year-old Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs), of Akron, Ohio, are scheduled to meet in a FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event September 28 in Los Angeles. They’ll fight for Spence’s IBF welterweight title and Porter’s WBC championship in a 12-round bout at Staples Center.
Most odds-makers have installed the unbeaten Spence as at least a 9-1 favorite over Porter.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.