Deontay Wilder-Bermane Stiverne draws high ratings for Showtime
Deontay Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title-winning unanimous decision over Bermane Stiverne on Saturday generated a record viewership for Showtime Championship Boxing, the network announced on Wednesday.
Not only did Wilder’s victory make him America’s first heavyweight titleholder since Shannon Briggs in 2007, but the main event of the three-fight card captured an average audience of 1.24 million viewers, which ranks as the network’s fourth-highest rated fight ever.
Co-promoted by Golden Boy and Don King, Wilder-Stiverne attracted a peak audience of 1.34 million viewers, which ranks as the highest fight on any premium network over the past year, according to the Showtime release.
In other bouts on the card, RING No. 2-rated WBC junior featherweight beltholder Leo Santa Cruz scored an eighth round technical knockout over Jesus Ruiz, and undefeated junior welterweight Amir Imam survived a third round knockdown by scoring one each in the second and fifth and two in the third of an eventual fifth-round stoppage of Fidel Maldonado Jr.
The average individual audiences for each of the three fights now rank in the top-20 of the most watched bouts on Showtime since 2009. Santa Cruz-Ruiz rates 12th highest, and Imam-Maldonado, 20th.
In addition, the three-bout broadcast became the highest rated on Showtime in more than two years, having attracted the second largest audience since 2004 behind Austin Trout’s unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto in December 2012.