Saturday night’s debut of the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC was the most-watched professional boxing broadcast since 1998, according to Fast National Data from The Nielsen Company.
The PBC on NBC telecast averaged 3.4 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched professional boxing broadcast in 17 years (“Oscar De La Hoya’s Fight Night” on FOX, 5.9 million, Mon., March 23, 1998).
Viewership increased every half hour through the telecast and peaked at 4.2 million from 10:30-11 p.m. ET during the exciting Rounds 7-12 of Keith Thurman’s unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero, which The Associated Press called “the kind of fight that had the crowd on its feet and gave a much needed boost to boxing.” With the victory on NBC’s first major primetime boxing broadcast in 30 years (Larry Holmes vs. Carl “The Truth” Williams, on May 20, 1985), Thurman improved to a perfect 25-0 (21 knockouts).
The PBC on NBC also led NBC to a Saturday primetime victory among Adults 18-49, with a 1.08 rating in the demographic.
“The return of primetime boxing to NBC for the first time in three decades got off to a strong start last weekend with Saturday’s PBC on NBC debut,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN. “With our next primetime telecast on Saturday, April 11, we look forward to building on the momentum that this first event clearly established. We are excited that high-quality boxing is back on NBC.”
Saturday night’s telecast (8:30-11 p.m. ET) posted a 2.11/4 fast national rating – up 174% from the average boxing telecast on NBC from 2012-14 (.77). It is also the highest-rated professional boxing broadcast since the ’98 De La Hoya show on FOX (4.29).
More than 575,000 minutes (576,435) of PBC on NBC coverage was live streamed via NBC Sports Live Extra to desktops, tablets and mobile devices – ranking as the third-best Saturday night this year behind the NFL Wild Card Playoff (Jan. 3, 2015) and the NHL Stadium Series game (Feb. 21, 2015). On social media, #NBCBoxing trended on Twitter worldwide throughout the telecast, along with #PBConNBC, boxers’ names and other key terms trending on the national level.
PBC on NBC returns on Saturday, April 11 at 8:30 p.m. ET from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, featuring four boxers with a combined 127-4-1 record and 80 KOs – undefeated superstar Danny “Swift” Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) vs. Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs), and middleweight champion “Irish” Andy Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) vs. Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs).
NBC and NBCSN will present 20 live PBC on NBC boxing events in 2015. Within the 20 live shows, NBC Sports Group will present more than 50 hours of PBC coverage, including NBCSN pre- and post-fight programming for NBC telecasts. The Premier Boxing Champions series is created for television by Haymon Boxing. The PBC on NBC will feature many of today’s brightest stars, in their most compelling matches.
All PBC on NBC shows will be streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. NBC Sports Live Extra is available for desktops at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available at the App Store for iPad and iPod touch, on select devices within Google Play, and on windows phones and tablets.