By Keith Idec
Deontay Wilder didn’t leave much time to build an audience Saturday night, but his spectacular, one-punch, first-round knockout of Dominic Breazeale still drew Showtime’s highest viewership for boxing since his last appearance on the premium cable network.
According to figures released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research, the Wilder-Breazeale bout attracted a peak audience of 990,000 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The peak viewership includes those that watched the fight live on television and those that streamed it live.
Their two-minute, 17-second fight, the main event of a three-bout broadcast, drew an average live viewership of 886,000 via linear television and streaming.
A total of 1,100,000 viewers watched Wilder-Breazeale live on TV, live through streaming, On Demand and on replay Sunday morning.
Wilder drilled Breazeale with a right hand to the side of his head, which left the 6-feet-7, 255-pound challenger flat on his back. Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs) attempted to get up, but referee Harvey Dock counted to 10 before Breazeale could reach his feet.
Wilder’s previous appearance on Showtime – an intriguing 10th-round knockout of Luis Ortiz – peaked at 1,200,000 viewers in March 2018. Wilder-Ortiz, which had much more time to build viewership, was watched by an average audience of 1,100,000.
Viewership for Wilder-Breazeale was comparable to the WBC heavyweight champion’s last first-round knockout Showtime televised.
That bout – Wilder’s three-knockdown demolition of Bermane Stiverne in their rematch – peaked at 887,000 viewers and averaged 824,000 from Barclays Center in November 2017. The first bout between Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) and Stiverne, which went the distance, attracted a peak audience of 1,340,000 and an average viewership of 1,240,000 from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena in January 2015.
Showtime’s telecast of Wilder-Breazeale aired at the same time as Game 3 of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals. That game, which Golden State came back to win against Portland, drew an average of 7,247,000 viewers, the second-highest viewership ESPN ever has attracted for an NBA conference final game.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.