The debut of the “Premier Boxing Champions” series on Spike TV on Friday night performed well for the basic cable network, which will televise Al Haymon’s monthly series as part of his time-buy deal through 2017.
The main event, former two-time welterweight titlist Andre Berto’s sixth-round knockout of Josesito Lopez to win a vacant interim belt, averaged 1 million viewers, according to the network.
The three-fight telecast, which also included former welterweight titlist Shawn Porter’s fifth-round knockout of Erick Bone and a heavyweight Chris Arreola’s eight-round decision against Curtis Harper in an all-out slugfest, averaged 869,000 viewers. According to Spike TV, it was the most-watched Friday night boxing event since the Jan. 12, 2007, edition of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights,” which was headlined by Cornelius Bundrage versus Chris Smith and averaged 906,000 viewers.
According to Spike TV, Friday’s broadcast more than doubled ESPN2’s average for boxing on Fridays in 2014 (403,000 viewers).
Once Spike TV gets figures later this week that also include DVR viewership, the network believes it could send the card north of 950,000 viewers.
Spike TV also shows Bellator MMA and Glory kickboxing on Friday nights. The boxing event did better than both. Bellator averaged about 800,000 viewers last year (about 845,000 with DVRs included) and Glory hovers around 500,000 viewers.