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PBC's stock continues to fall on NBC

The most recent PBC on NBC card, featuring Wilder-Duhaupas, highlights the declining ratings for series on prime time network television.

David A. Smith/Getty Images

PBC on NBC is trending downwards, with its latest card headlined by Deontay Wilder vs. Johann Duhaupas pulling in the lowest ratings for any PBC on NBC show thus far. The show averaged 2.2 million viewers, peaking at 3 million during the main event. While these numbers would be a good showing for a premium network channel like HBO or Showtime, drawing these ratings on prime time network television make them less than appealing.

So far there have been four PBC on NBC cards, and with each edition drawing fewer ratings than the previous, it's marking a troubling trend. The first show, headlined by Keith Thurman vs. Robert Guerrero, averaged 3.37 million viewers. That debut showed was followed by Danny Garcia vs. Lamont Peterson, which averaged 2.88 million. Shawn Porter vs. Adrien Broner was next, averaging 2.33 million, finally followed by the Wilder-Duhaupas card, which did 2.2 million.

Al Haymon, who created the PBC series, will likely have to try and turn this trend around quickly as he's using $450 million in hedge fund money to bankroll a time buy with the network to air his cards. The goal was to be able to draw large enough audiences and advertisers that the series would prove its worth to networks, who would eventually pay for the product -- but declining viewership doesn't exactly send a strong signal of success.

Sports Media Watch claims last Saturday's card was the least watched prime time boxing or MMA broadcast on network television since 2008, which includes the four PBC on NBC cards, sixteen UFC cards on Fox, and five EliteXC/Strikeforce MMA cards on CBS.

Most likely, the simplest and obvious solution to this issue is that Haymon just has to feature better quality fights on a more consistent basis. Wilder is not yet a mainstream attraction and he was going up against a guy who hardly anyone has even heard of, and one who definitely didn't deserve a title shot. Haymon certainly has enough top flight fighters in his stable to start mixing them in together to make a lot of fan-friendly fights, but if he doesn't start doing it soon, PBC could quickly vanish along with all the money from its investors.

And here is where the spirit of the Muhammad Ali Act comes into play -- and I'm not talking about the legalities, just the logistics. As a manager/advisor, it's Haymon's responsibility to negotiate in the best interest of his fighters. To that end, putting his top talent into showcase fights for good money fits that bill. The problem is that it's not necessarily in a promoter's best interest to go this route (and in this instance we can just consider Haymon to be a de facto promoter). And this is where the inherent conflict of interest lies.

While less-than-competitive showcase fights may benefit his top talent, it's just plain hard to sell crap fights to the general public. But if Haymon puts on great fights, pitting his top talent against one another on a regular basis, while it may be good for sales, it's probably not in each fighter's best interest. So how can one man negotiate on the best interest of both sides? The answer is, you probably can't, at least not effectively over a long period of time. Haymon is really dancing on a razor's edge here, and all loopholes aside, it seems that he'll eventually have to fall on one side or the other, with or without the lawsuits.

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