Saturday night's scrap between Adrien Broner and Marcos Maidana was one of the best televised fights of the year in the United States, the result of good matchmaking and heavy promotion for a man, Broner, who they thought could become the next star in boxing. The jury is still out on if Broner can fulfill that promise, but what is not debatable is that the fight delivered for Showtime, not only in the ring but outside as well.
Showtime's Executive Vice President Stephen Espinoza has announced that the fight generated a 1.3 rating, putting it as the third-highest rating for the network since it began keeping track of individual fights in 2009. That's an excellent rating, with many people no doubt tuning in to see if Maidana could wipe the grin off of Broner's face which, ultimately, he did.
The Ring's Lem Satterfield was able to catch up with Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer. Not surprisingly, Schaefer was pleased with the performance.
"I'm very happy. I'm very happy for Showtime, for us, it's great for the sport. You see now that Showtime has delivered. Showtime is delivering on a regular basis million-plus viewership numbers. For their subscribers, they're continuing to show exciting, quality matchups and the fans are responding."
"What I'm very proud is that Stephen Espinoza's strategy for having double, triple, and quadrupleheaders has found a formula which is resonating with his subscribers. That makes me happy."
While Showtime may not really be regularly churning out million-plus viewership numbers (that tends to only happen with stars like Broner, Canelo Alvarez, or Miguel Cotto), it is definitely at a better, more respected level than it was a year ago. The Cold War in boxing is robbing us of some great fights, but it's also kicked the two sides into gear to deliver the best product that it possibly can bring to boxing fans. Saturday night was another manifestation of that.