Ring Of Sports Marketing

Posts tagged top rank

Boxing / Ratings

ESPN-Top Rank Partnership Showing Signs of Success

ESPN has been consistently losing subscribers on a monthly basis and with $24 billion wrapped up in television rights contracts for the next few years the worldwide leader needed a boost.  Fights like Vasyl Lomachenko’s win over Guillermo Rigondeaux that beat out UFC programming on FS1 in the younger demographics is exactly what the broadcast company needed.

TopRank boxing and ESPN are four months into their four year contract and ESPN is currently paying more for a single Monday Night Football game than they are for the entire partnership with Top Rank, according to Kevin Draper with the New York Times.

The Creative Arts Agency (CAA) is managing the sales for advertisers and sponsorships.  Creating revenue through advertisers and sponsors will be essential to make up for missing out on PPV revenue if the biggest fights and fighters are to remain on basic cable.

Ringside Analysis:

There are a few important takeaways from this article.  First, it seems that Top Rank has learned from the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) mistake.  The PBC sought to buy air time on sports networks and sell the rights themselves, then after a few years sell the rights for the events back to the networks they had previously bought air time from.  However, those results have likely not come to fruition the way the PBC thought and the partnership between Top Rank and ESPN may be a better route to go.  Networks will promote much more often if they have some skin in the game.  One example that Draper points out is that NHL coverage on ESPN dropped after the network was no longer pay the rights fees to broadcast the league.

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Boxing / Ratings

Lomachenko-Rigondeaux Is Second Highest Ranked Boxing Match On Cable In 2017

Vasyl Lomachenko’s fight with Guillermo Rigondeaux set ratings records.  The fight drew 1.73 million viewers, making it the second most-watched fight of 2017.  Pacquiao-Horn, which took place in July of 2017 and averaged 2.8 million views but peaked at 4.4 million, remains the highest-rated boxing match on cable this year.

This boxing event went head-to-head with the UFC running an event on FS1 and Nielsen ratings indicate that the boxing event drew more viewers.  Brian Ortega’s win over Cub Swanson in the octagon earned 870,000 viewers.  The boxing event benefitted from the Heisman Trophy Ceremony preceding it, but Lomachenko-Rigondeaux actually drew more viewers than the ceremony.

From Awful Announcing:

Boosted by following the Heisman Trophy Presentation, the Dec. 9 edition of “Top Rank Boxing” featuring the marquee bout of Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux drew a combined 1.85 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN Deportes, ranking as the second most-watched boxing telecast on cable since 2012, behind only “Top Rank Boxing” (also on ESPN) from July 1, 2017 with Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn. Each of the four fight cards on Dec. 9 registered at least 1.63 million viewers: Vasiliy Lomachenko/Guillermo Rigondeaux (2.114 million), Shakur Stevenson/Oscar Mendoza (1.687 million), Chris Diaz/Bryant Cruz (1.647 million), Michael Conlan/Luis Fernando Molina (1.635 million). 

Ringside Analysis:

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Boxing

ESPN and Top Rank Boxing Sign 4-Year, Exclusive Deal

The month of August leading up to the Mayweather-McGregor fight saw some of the premier fighters in the sport fight on ESPN.  Manny Pacquiao fought Jeff Horn, Vasyl Lomachenko fought Miguel Marriaga, and Terence Crawford fought Julius Indongo.  Those fights now serve as the introduction to Top Rank on ESPN as the two companies enter into an exclusive 4-year agreement.

HBO and Showtime have dominated boxing broadcasting over the last twenty years.  This is the first time ESPN has made itself a major player in boxing.  According to Dan Rafael at ESPN, there are already 18 cards available for broadcast during the first year of the deal.

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Boxing

Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford Will Both Fight On Cards Broadcast By ESPN In August

World champions Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford will defend their championship belts on ESPN.  Lomachenko will fight Miguel Marriaga to defend his super featherweight belt on August 5th and Terence Crawford will take on Julius Indongo on August 19th to defend his junior welterweight belt and take Indongo’s.  Both fighters are on the pound-for-pound, best in the world list.

From Dan Rafael’s article:

“ESPN is thrilled to bring these two new title fights to fans,” Burke Magnus, ESPN’s executive vice president of programming and scheduling, said Thursday. “There is a lot of buzz around boxing right now, and much of it centers around these two great champions — Lomachenko and Crawford. We are excited and proud to showcase these two great events on all of our platforms.”

“Pound for pound, no one can match the talent of Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford,” duBoef said. “They drew the best ratings on premium cable this year, and now everyone will be able to see them when they defend their world titles in all-action fights in August, live on ESPN.”

Both Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford have had nearly all of their fights air on HBO, but not PPV.  HBO could have matched ESPN’s offer but decided to forego their matching option.  Top Rank has said that they are expecting a longer term partnership with ESPN.  Historically, Top Rank was one of the biggest suppliers of fights to HBO, who can still work with the other boxing promotional company giant, Golden Boy Promotions.

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Boxing / Ratings

Pacquiao-Horn Sets ESPN Boxing Rating Record

Saturday’s fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn, known as “The Battle Of Brisbane,” is the highest-rated fight for cable television since 2010 and breaks the old record for most watched fight on ESPN that was set in the 1990s.  The average rating throughout the program was a 1.8 metered market rating.  On ESPN streaming digital platforms the fight averaged 78,000 viewers with 392,000 unique viewers over the course of the program.  ESPN Deportes attracted an average of 1,400 viewers with 7,800 unique viewers.

According to ESPN Media Zone the cities with the highest market ratings were Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Raleigh-Durham, New Orleans, and San Diego.

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Boxing / Finance

Top Rank Self-Distributing Pacquiao-Vargas on PPV

HBO, the historical provider of Manny Pacquiao’s PPV events, has declined to distribute Pacquiao-Vargas.

According to Dan Rafeal at ESPN, HBO didn’t want to be involved, “…because it did not want to have two pay-per-view events in the same billing cycle and it is already committed to the Nov. 19 HBO PPV fight between unified light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward.”

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Uncategorized

Showtime sues Top Rank over Mayweather-Pacquiao related legal fees

Showtime sues Top Rank over Mayweather-Pacquiao related legal fees

Uncategorized

Bob Arum and Al Haymon Settle Lawsuit

Top Rank’s Bob Arum has settled his lawsuit with Al Haymon and the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).  Last Wednesday the two parties came to a settlement that will remain confidential as written in the settlement and the case has been dismissed.

Bob Arum sued Al Haymon in July of 2015 arguing that the PBC violated the Muhammad Ali act, California State Business Regulations, and violated antitrust laws by being monopolistic.

Golden Boy Promotions is also suing the PBC but in a separate lawsuit, which is in discovery.  Discovery would lead to financial information being opened as well as trade secrets.

Ringside Analysis:

It is not a secret that the PBC has been losing money but the company has already invest at least $500 million into the venture with the help of Waddell & Reed, a Kansas based investment firm.

With this lawsuit coming to a close I expect the case with Golden Boy Promotions to be settled soon.  By settling the case can’t get in front of a court, which could result in a terrible loss for the company.