It wasn’t just paltry live thread numbers and low web traffic for this past Saturday night’s HBO boxing farewell after 45 years on the air, the TV numbers were dreadful, too.
Nielsen reports (via ESPN) that the show did perhaps the worst numbers for any HBO boxing telecast ever, and got progressively worse over the course of the night.
The opener between Claressa Shields and Femke Hermans averaged 339,000 viewers and peaked at 379,000. The second fight, pitting Juan Francisco Estrada and Victor Mendez, was down to an average of 300,000 and a peak of 326,000. And then the main event, featuring Cecilia Braekhus against Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes, averaged just 276,000 and peaked at 347,000.
The card, which was also sparsely attended in Carson, Calif., was never really promoted much by the network and had zero buzz going in, so these numbers aren’t exactly surprising, let alone shocking. The show was also going up against a big card on ESPN, where Vasiliy Lomachenko headlined with a victory over Jose Pedraza, which certainly didn’t help at all. And making matters even worse, not a single one of the fights provided any drama or intrigue, probably leading viewers to tune out even if they’d decided to give the show a look.