Jeff Horn-Manny Pacquiao Is Most-Viewed Cable Boxing Match In U.S. Since '06
ESPN’s Battle of Brisbane on Saturday night, highlighted by Jeff Horn’s upset of Manny Pacquiao in the main event, drew 2.81 million viewers from 10:01pm-1:04am ET, marking the most-viewed boxing match on cable TV in the U.S. since HBO’s Carlos Baldomir-Arturo Gatti in July ’06. It was ESPN’s best boxing audience since ’95. ESPN Deportes drew 206,000 viewers for the telecast, which was the net’s best boxing audience since August ’15, when Leo Santa Cruz fought Abner Mares. The fight card was easily WatchESPN’s most-streamed boxing event (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
TARGET DEMO: YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Iole noted the Horn-Pacquiao fight "increased the audience among adults 18-to-34-years-old an astonishing 10 times compared to its lead-in," an MLS match between Sporting KC and the Timbers. That match in its "final 15 minutes posted a rating of 0.2 and an audience of 86,000 among adults 18 to 34." By the climax of the Horn-Pacquiao fight, the rating had "jumped to 1.9 and the audience among 18-34 adults had increased to 879,000." These 15-minute ratings are "astonishingly good, particularly in the targeted 18-34 and 18-49-year-old demographics." The fight did "sensationally well among the 18-34 and 18-49-year-old audience demographics that advertisers covet and which boxing broadcasts on television have had difficulty reaching" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/6).