Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora delivered on Channel 5. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Saturday's British heavyweight title fight between Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury saw boxing back on terrestrial TV in the UK, as Channel 5 picked up the bout to test what the sport could do on their network. While the production certainly had some flaws, they also did a great thing by bringing in Al Bernstein to do color commentary, and given the ratings, they probably don't regret the decision to air the fight, and could be a player in British boxing going forward.
Chisora vs Fury did a peak audience of about 3 million, which promoter Mick Hennessy says is comparable to the 2008 fight on ITV that he promoted between Carl Froch and Jean Pascal.
"The figures for Channel 5 were fantastic and I have to give great credit to Channel 5 because they listened to me and they believed in me when I told them about Tyson, unlike other broadcasters.
"When I promoted the World title fight between Carl Froch and Jean Pascal the figures were roughy 2.9m and that was a World title on ITV with a big build-up. This is just the start for Tyson, he's a winner in the ring and he's a winner with the public sitting at home wanting to see a proper fighter and a guy who has the charisma to entertain them.
"The future is looking very bright for Tyson, we want him to win the Irish title next and then the European title and Channel 5 now have the opportunity to bring those fights to an even bigger audience. Nobody in British boxing is getting this amount of people watching their fights. Towards the end of the fight it recorded the highest viewing figures and was the most watched program on British television."