Terence Crawford’s latest fight and return to ESPN television gave the network another big viewership number.
Per numbers released by Nielsen Media Research, the November 14 Top Rank on ESPN broadcast averaged 1.758 million viewers, which is the most a boxing broadcast on ESPN has averaged since December 2018. Crawford’s fourth-round TKO win over Kell Brook to retain the WBO welterweight title headlined the two-fight card on November 14.
The viewership numbers for this past show are slightly up for the previous 2020 high which was also a Top Rank on ESPN show. That card took place on October 17 (Teofimo Lopez’s win over Vasiliy Lomachenko) and the roughly six-hour broadcast averaged 1.534 million viewers.
The November 14 broadcast also drew 681,000 viewers, which is also up from the October 17 broadcast that drew 626,000 viewers.
Ratings-wise, Crawford’s win over Brook was another hit, especially in the 18-49 demographic. The November 14 card drew a 0.53 rating, which is up from the 0.48 rating the October 17 card drew. The 18-49 demo for the Crawford card was third among original cable telecasts for the day. The other two broadcasts that drew higher ratings on cable were college football games which aired on ESPN.
This was Crawford’s second-best viewership number on ESPN in the last few years. His October 2018 win over Jose Benavidez Jr. drew more viewers.
Below are viewership numbers for the last four ESPN telecasts headlined by Crawford.
– Kell Brook (1.758 million viewers on November 2020)
– Egidijus Kavaliauskas (1.35 million viewers on December 2019)
– Jose Benavidez Jr. (2.245 million viewers on October 2018)
– Julius Indongo (965,000 viewers on August 2017)
The card peaked at roughly 2.1 million viewers during the 11:45 p.m.-12 a.m. ET segment. It also was the second-highest rating cable broadcast of the day in the 25-54 demographic with a 0.68 rating.
The November 14 broadcast opened with a controversial fight between Joshua Franco and Andrew Moloney. The fight was cut short after two rounds due to Franco’s eye being damaged due to what was ruled to be an accidental clash of heads. However, fight officials spent nearly 30 minutes deliberating on making a decision on the result after the fight was finished.
It was ultimately ruled that the fight was deemed a no decision, standing firm on referee Russell Mora’s initial call on the cut being from a clash of heads and not from a punch thrown by Moloney.
The night was capped off by Crawford stopping Brook in four rounds to retain the WBO title. Crawford is now 5-0 since moving to welterweight, winning all five fights inside the distance.
In other boxing ratings news, the November 14 PBC on FS1 card averaged 256,000 viewers (one of the most-watched boxing cards FS1 has had in 2020) and drew a 0.05 rating in 18-49 demo, good for 122nd best on cable for the day.
ESPN’s next Top Rank broadcast stateside takes place on December 12 and will be headlined by Shakur Stevenson vs. Toka Kahn Clary. Also on the card is a lightweight matchup between Felix Verdejo and Masayoshi Nakatani as well as a fight featuring rising star Edgar Berlanga.