This past weekend, the big player in the combat sports world was Premier Boxing Champions, the Al Haymon enterprise that brought boxing back to network television. PBC aired their debut show Saturday night live on NBC, and the overnight ratings speak well for the company's future.
Premier Boxing Champions pulled in 3.4 million viewers on the night, making it the most watched boxing broadcast since 1998. They also did a 1.08 rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic, making NBC #1 amongst the big 4 networks in this group.
The show was headlined by Keith Thurman vs. Robert Guerrero in a dramatic fight, and also featured Adrien Broner vs. John Molina, Jr. in a snoozer.
One other statistic worth noting: the show saw a steady rise throughout the broadcast, with an increase every half hour, culminating in a 4.2 peak for the last half of the main event.
The big question for MMA fans - how do these numbers stack up to the UFC on Fox?
The most recent UFC on Fox show, UFC on Fox 14 headlined by Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Johnson, pulled in 2.82 million viewers, a definite notch below the PBC show. That was the high mark for the UFC in some time. UFC on Fox 13: Dos Santos vs. Miocic saw a significantly lower 2.27 million viewers, which was consistent with their most recent shows.
The highest rated UFC on Fox show remains the first ever event (Velasquez vs. Dos Santos I) which drew 5.7 million viewers back in 2011. Overall, only 4 of the 14 UFC on Fox events have beaten this PBC show in terms of viewers - none more recent than UFC on Fox 6: Johnson vs. Dodson in January 2013 (3.77 million).
Here is a full list of UFC on FOX numbers, courtesy of MMA Fighting.
Overnight ratings figures for UFC on FOX events is as follows:
- UFC on FOX 1: 5.7 million average viewership, 3.1 rating in adults 18-49.
- UFC on FOX 2: 4.57 million average viewership, 2.2 rating in adults 18-49.
Date: January 28, 2012, headlined by Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis
- UFC on FOX 3: 2.25 million average viewership, 1.0 rating in adults 18-49
Date: May 5, 2012, headlined by Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller
- UFC on FOX 4: 2.36 million average viewership, 0.9 rating in adults 18-49
Date: August 4, 2012, headlined by Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua vs. Brandon Vera
- UFC on FOX 5: 3.41 million average viewership, 1.6 rating in adults 18-49
Date: December 8, 2012, headlined by Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz
- UFC on FOX 6: 3.77 million average viewership, 1.7 rating in adults 18-49
Date: January 26, 2013, headlined by Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson
- UFC on FOX 7: 3.3 million average viewership, 1.6 rating in adults 18-49
Date: April 20, 2013, headlined by Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez
- UFC on Fox 8: 2.08 million average viewership, .9 rating in adults 18-49
Date: July 27th, 2013 headlined by Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga
- UFC on FOX 9: 2.41 million average viewership, 1.0 rating in adults 18-49
- UFC on FOX 10: 2.55 million average viewership, 1.1 rating in adults 18-49
- UFC on FOX 11: 1.99 million average viewership, .8 rating in adults 18-49
- UFC on FOX 12: 2.02 million average viewership, .8 rating in adults 18-49
Date: July 26, 2014, headlined by Matt Brown vs. Robbie Lawler
-UFC on FOX 13: 2.27 million average viewership, .8 rating in adults 18-49
Date: December 13, 2014, headlined by Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic
-UFC on FOX 14: 2.82 million average viewership, 1.1 rating in adults 18-49