Showtime Sports continued with significant gains in viewership on its flagship series Showtime Championship Boxing on Saturday, Dec. 14, drawing 1.3 million viewers to an action-packed main event featuring the WBA welterweight championship, Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana.
The dramatic bout, the final match on the 2013 boxing calendar, is a late contender for boxing’s coveted Fight of the Year honor.
The audience performance during the main event ranks as the third-highest audience on record for live boxing on Showtime since the network began tracking individual bouts in 2009.
The average viewership across the entire event, a four-fight, four-hour telecast, brings the series’ 2013 average up 24 percent and a remarkable 64 percent over 2011.
Further, the average audience for the entire telecast ranks as the fourth-largest live boxing telecast on Showtime since 2004 (when the Nielsen began separately measuring premium television multiplex channels) with all four coming within the last 12 months ranking behind the events headlined by Miguel Cotto vs. Austin Trout (Dec. 1, 2012); Paul Malignaggi vs. Adrien Broner (June 22, 2013); and Bernard Hopkins vs. Karo Murat (Oct. 26, 2013).
“Showtime Sports has achieved incredible growth in viewership of Showtime Championship Boxing in 2013, and we’ll take this momentum into 2014,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Showtime Sports.
“With marquee events featuring boxing’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter and global star Floyd Mayweather, the return of Canelo Alvarez, and a myriad of incredible matchups on the horizon in the welterweight, junior welterweight and super welterweight divisions—the very deepest, most talent-rich divisions in boxing--our subscribers can continue to expect Showtime Sports to deliver the biggest and most significant bouts in boxing.”
The event was promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Leija/Battah Promotions and emanated from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
A rousing quadrupleheader from start to finish was capped by Maidana’s scintillating performance. The fearless Argentine scored two knockdowns en route to a unanimous decision over the heavily favored, previously unbeaten Broner. The startling result becomes an instant candidate for not only Fight of the Year, but Upset of the Year as well.
In the co-feature, undefeated Keith Thurman retained his WBA Interim Welterweight title with a sensational ninth-round stoppage over tough-as-nails Jesus Soto Karass in a Knockout of the Year candidate. The always-exciting Leo Santa Cruz kept his WBC Super Bantamweight belt with a unanimous decision over determined Cesar Seda in a 12-round slugfest.
And WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Beibut Shumenov made an emphatic statement with an impressive third-round TKO over Slovakia’s Tomas Kovacs.