Eleider Alvarez’s upset victory over Sergey Kovalev brought solid ratings for HBO.
The August 4 HBO boxing telecast, which took place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, featured a world title doubleheader with Kovalev and Dmitry Bivol defending the WBO and WBA light heavyweight titles, respectively.
The fight between Kovalev and Alvarez, which saw Alvarez score two knockdowns in the seventh round followed by a knockout later in the round, winning the WBO title, averaged 731,000 viewers and peaked at 813,000. The co-main event, which saw Bivol successfully defend his WBA title against former title challenger Isaac Chilemba, averaged 583,000 viewers, peaking at 632,000.
While those numbers are not impressive compared to viewership numbers HBO has achieved in past years, it is an improvement from the last time both Kovalev and Bivol fought on the same card on HBO. That took place on March 4 at Madison Square Garden when Kovalev defeated Igor Mikhalkin and Bivol defeated Sullivan Barrera to retain their titles. For that March 4 card, Kovalev’s fight averaged 599,000 viewers while Bivol’s fight averaged 512,000 viewers.
The low viewership numbers for that HBO boxing card in March could be partially attributed to the fact that it had to contend with a Showtime Championship Boxing card in nearby Brooklyn. That card’s main event, Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title, garnered monster ratings, peaking at more than one million viewers.
Viewership for the August 4 card, however, is slightly lower than the viewership for HBO’s last boxing broadcast: the July 21 Las Vegas card that saw Jaime Munguia successfully retain his WBO junior middleweight title against Liam Smith. That fight averaged 777,000 viewers while peaking at 827,000 viewers.
HBO’s next boxing telecast will take place on September 8 and it will be the third iteration of the SuperFly series of boxing cards. That event will feature Juan Francisco Estrada, McWilliams Arroyo and a vacant WBO super flyweight title fight between Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte.