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PBC on NBC viewership continues to fall

Heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder's stoppage of Johann Duhaupas was the least viewed PBC on NBC card in prime time. Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions

Heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder's mismatch with France's unknown Johann Duhaupas on Saturday night on NBC's Premier Boxing Champions card was not a hit with viewers.

Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs), who stopped Duhaupas (32-3) in the 11th round of the expected one-sided fight, headlined a prime-time card that received very little buzz given the nature of the match. The overall card, which also featured heavyweight Dominic Breazeale (16-0, 14 KOs) getting a very questionable 10-round decision win against Fred Kassi (18-4-1, 10 KOs), averaged 2.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen. It peaked at 3 million viewers during the main event.

Yes, the card was competing with a full slate of college football, but it was nonetheless the least-viewed PBC card on NBC in prime time since its launch in March.

It was the fourth PBC on NBC card in prime time, and each has declined compared to the previous edition.

The March 7 debut card, topped by Keith Thurman-Robert Guerrero, averaged 3.37 million viewers; the second card, headlined by Danny Garcia-Lamont Peterson on April 11, drew an average of 2.88 million viewers; and the third show, headlined by Shawn Porter-Adrien Broner on June 20, dropped to an average of 2.33 million viewers.

The downward trend has to be troubling for the PBC, which has steadfastly declined to discuss its goals for viewership. But PBC, created by boxer adviser/manager Al Haymon, is being put on as a time buy with some $450 million in investor money from a hedge fund hoping the series would draw large enough audiences and advertising revenue to entice a network or networks to ultimately pay for the product or even buy it outright.

According to Sports Media Watch, however, Saturday's telecast had a smaller audience for a prime-time boxing or MMA event on network television than any of the past 25 since 2008, which includes all 16 editions of UFC on Fox, five EliteXC/Strikeforce MMA cards on CBS and the four PBC on NBC shows.