After sizzling this summer with fight cards that drew as many as 200,000 viewers, the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series looks to stay hot with a full September lineup. The tech-forward, fan-friendly Facebook broadcast platform opens its fall slate on Saturday, Sept. 9, by collaborating with Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Championship Boxing for a five-bout card featuring eight New York up-and-coming prospects, plus others.
“We’re very excited to partner with Linacre Media and the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE team,” said Eric Bentley, COO of Real Deal Sports and Entertainment. “It’s a great opportunity to partner with each other in order to organically and strategically build our audiences. We want to bring as much exposure as we can to our fighters, our initiatives and our brand, and FIGHTNIGHT LIVE is a perfect way to do so.”
Highlighting the Facebook/TheRealDealBoxing.com simulcast is Brooklyn native Julian Sosa (8-0-1, 3 KOs), as he takes on Detroit’s James Lester (11-12-1, 4 KOs). Also appearing on the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE/Real Deal Boxing card in separate bouts: undefeated fighters Greg Outlaw of Bowie, Md. (3-0, 1 KO), Cesar “Rain Man” Francis of Brooklyn (1-0), Khalid “Pure Gold” Twaiti (1-0, 1 KO) of the famed Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, pro-debuting Saleh “Yemen Boxer” Almulaki of Queens, and others.
“We’re pleased to begin a partnership with Hall of Famer Evander Holyfield and Real Deal Sports and Entertainment this Saturday, with an action-packed show containing something for everyone,” said Mark Fratto, Principal and Director of Business Development, Linacre Media. “Fight fans can watch the first five bouts of The Real Deal’s Empire State card on Facebook FIGHTNIGHT LIVE or on TheRealDealBoxing.com, and then catch the PPV fights exclusively through The Real Deal’s Verizon Digital Media service, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Hurricane Harvey victims in their time of need. A great night of action showcasing NYC and area prospects, Hall of Fame announcer Barry Tompkins, plus the ability to help others – what’s better than that?”
Following the Facebook slate, fight fans are encouraged to continue watching Real Deal’s featured bouts of the evening, exclusively at TheRealDealBoxing.com via the promotion’s Verizon Digital Media Pay-Per-View service ($5.99). A $1.00 donation from every PPV purchase will be made to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and the three featured bouts include a clash between Ian “The Young General” Green of Patterson, N.J. (12-1, 9 KOs) and Kingston, Jamaica’s Kemahl “Hitman” Russell (11-1, 9 KOs) for the vacant Junior NABF Middleweight title. Popular area pugilist and New York State middleweight champion Devaun “Unique” Lee (8-2-1, 3 KOs) takes on veteran Giovanni Lorenzo (37-7, 28 KOs) of NYC, plus a matchup between undefeated prospects Edgar Berlanga of Brooklyn (4-0, 4 KOs) and Rochester’s Saadiq Muhammad (4-0) will also be shown in its entirety via TheRealDealBoxing.com PPV.
Over the first four months of programming, the numbers on the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series have showed promise and potential for the new platform with an average of more than 85,000 fight fans tuning in per event. The August “Super Saturday” from Foxwoods (202,000), the July Roy Jones Jr. “Desert Showdown” from Phoenix (63,000), the May “Slugfest at the Sun” from Mohegan Sun (46,000) and the June “Rosemont Rumble” from Chicago (32,000) saw a total of more than 8,000 total hours of Facebook video consumed by 342,000-plus users across all devices.
In addition to the raw viewership numbers, the fully-interactive, fan-friendly productions have seen more than 33,000 collective live post engagements, including more than 3,000 “likes” or “loves,” more than 10,000 comments and 3,000-plus shares. FIGHTNIGHT LIVE broadcasts are viewed by 76 percent men, 24 percent women. The top demographic is comprised of males aged 25-34, which encompasses approximately 30 percent of the audience, on average.
The Aug. 26 Foxwoods “Super Saturday” show stands out individually with 201,935 views across 3,336 live hours of content, with 8,224 viewer interactions including 1,133 “likes” or “loves,” 1,570 comments and 1,392 shares.
Facebook FIGHTNIGHT LIVE has been delivered to fans absolutely free since its May 2017 launch courtesy of corporate partners like Barbour One 9, Talent Management and Entertainment Production (www.barbourone9.com) and Northeastern Fine Jewelry (www.nefj.com).
On Saturday night, Sept. 9, live from Resorts World Casino in Queens, N.Y., fans can expect a high-impact, multi-camera streaming experience complete with graphics, animations, replays, interviews and an announce team anchored by Hall of Fame blow-by-blow announcer Barry Tompkins of Showtime and analyst Michael Woods of the TalkBox Podcast, NYFights.com and The Ring. To provide spectators with a fully-interactive ringside experience, commentators will ask and respond to questions from the Facebook audience throughout the broadcast.
Created and produced by Linacre Media out of New York City, the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series features professional announcers, multiple camera angles, television graphics, replays and behind-the-scenes access and interviews. The streamed shows are available globally wherever Facebook is available. The initiative not only enables fans from around the world to tune in, but also gives up-and-coming fighters a global platform to showcase their abilities, gives promoters an accessible “broadcast” solution and gives sponsors the ability to reach a mass audience via branded content.