Saturday night’s impressive showing in a unanimous decision win by Teofimo Lopez also scored with boxing fans on ESPN and their platforms.
Tuesday afternoon Showbuzz daily had the latest Nielsen television audience numbers for ESPN’s linear TV coverage and the Lopez WBO junior welterweight title win over Josh Taylor averaged nearly 950,000 viewers late Saturday. The audience Peaked in the final half hour of Lopez’s victory at 980,000
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As a reference point, that audience was the highest of any Top Rank ESPN main event fight so far this year topping the previous high from their April 8th broadcast of Shakur Stevenson-Shuichiro Yoshino that had an average audience of 827,000 for Stevenson’s KO victory that night.
Now to keep things in perspective, the Top Rank main event show broadcast for two hours on “the worldwide leader in sports” (ESPN) was beaten decisively on cable TV by game four of the Stanley Cup Final between Las Vegas and Florida broadcast by Turner’s TNT cable.
The Golden Knights 3-2 victory over the Panthers was watched on average by 1.8 million people Saturday night. And of course, U.S. network television continues to be king, including Fox Sports’ coverage of the running of the Belmont Stakes horse race. That had over 3.5 million viewers on average late Saturday afternoon and the horse race broadcast led into Saturday night’s baseball coverage on Fox of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
The baseball on Fox tallied 2.5 million on average in audience.
Meantime, Lopez took care of business in impressive fashion at the MSG Hulu Theater controlling the back half of the fight against the lineal champion Taylor from Scotland. It makes Teofimo a two division world champ and more marketable for a potential PPV showdown later this year with the likes of undisputed lightweight champ Devin Haney.
Finallly, the audience numbers are relevant, as ESPN will continue to televise several more fight cards this year over their linear network. And, it should be pointed out that with the ESPN Deportes audience and also, ESPN+ streaming numbers (that they don’t reveal) the Lopez-Taylor fight had even more audience than just what was reported from ESPN.