Just this past Saturday the boxing world enjoyed the second installment of the Premier Boxing Champions on the peacock network, NBC. This along with a handful of other cards under the Al Haymon banner on other networks like CBS and Spike TV has established a brave new world in the sport but is it too soon to tell if it is a success? As far as the numbers from this past show, which featured unified champ Danny Garcia’s controversial majority decision over former IBF champion Lamont Peterson and the split draw between WBO middleweight champ Andy Lee and former champ Peter Quillin, says that it is.
According the universally recognized Nielsen TV ratings, this past PBC show on NBC 2.9 million viewers and peaked at 3.4 million watchers making it the second highest viewed boxing event in seventeen years. The other broadcast on the secondary channels have done well also but obviously not like this. The deal that Haymon has signed with the majority of the networks which he has made the time buy is for three years. Does Haymon believe that with ratings like this at the end of the contract, the networks will want to actually pay him for the content?
The trouble with that concept is that even though the PBC began in early March and has been in the works for some months prior to that, Haymon has not been able to secure national sponsorship except for Corona beer. For commercials during the broadcasts all we see are well-produced vignettes of the fighters who will be featured in the upcoming fight cards. It is obvious for it to work for a network to actually pay for the content, they must have clients to who sell the commercial time of the broadcast. Obviously with one month in, it is too early to ask for leaps and bounds in this department.
With quite possibly the best card happening this past Saturday with a much anticipated fight in Garcia and Peterson going down, the upcoming schedule for the PBC on any of their platforms doesn’t bode well for the capturing of sponsors. Next up we have Andre Dirrell vs Badou Jack on Spike TV, interesting but not of the same caliber as Garcia-Peterson and the next fight on a major terrestrial network will be Texas’ Omar Figueroa vs Ricky Burns on May 9th on CBS.
Same day as Canelo vs Kirkland.
So there lies another problem for the boxing fan. Not only do we have to worry about HBO and Showtime to counter program against each other but now we have the PBC planning their fight cards on the same day as major events on the pillars of the sport on television. It does give us more action, more fights, which no boxing fan can thumb their noses at but now we must choose what to watch live and what to watch recorded.
I guess it is not such a bad problem to have.