There aren’t many American sports fans that don’t at least know about the upcoming Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury rematch.
According to Nielsen Media Research, the two Wilder-Fury II commercials that aired during FOX’s broadcast of Super Bowl LIV on Sunday night were watched by more than 100 million people apiece in the United States. An audience of 103,500,000 saw the first Wilder-Fury rematch promo at 8:02 p.m. ET, slightly more than the 101,100,000 who saw the second commercial at 8:37 p.m. ET.
Nielsen also revealed that 126,500,000 viewers combined watched seven Wilder-Fury II commercials during FOX’s pre-Super Bowl coverage from 12:56 p.m. ET until 6:10 p.m. ET, about 20 minutes prior to kickoff. The last two pre-game promos, which aired at 5:50 p.m. ET and 6:10 p.m. ET, were seen by audiences of 33,400,000 and 49,600,000, respectively.
An estimated 148,500,000 American viewers watched all or part of Super Bowl LIV – in which the Kansas City Chiefs came back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
The second heavyweight title bout between Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs), the WBC champion, and Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs), the lineal champion, is scheduled for February 22 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The four-fight show is a joint pay-per-view venture between FOX Sports, which has a content contract with Wilder’s adviser, Al Haymon, and ESPN, which has a broadcast agreement with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., Fury’s co-promoter.
Their first pay-per-view fight, which was distributed by Showtime, reportedly produced approximately 325,000 buys in December 2018. Wilder knocked down Fury twice in that bout – once apiece in the ninth and 12th rounds – but it resulted in a 12-round split draw at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Arum has said that he expects their highly anticipated rematch to generate more than 2 million buys because of the broad combined reach of FOX and ESPN.
FOX, one of the four major broadcast networks in the United States, is available in nearly 120 million American homes.
ESPN is the second most-watched basic cable channel in the United States, behind only FOX News. ESPN has an estimated 83 million American subscribers.
Showtime, a premium cable channel, has more than 29 million subscribers in the U.S.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.