NBC Gets Strong Rating For "Premier Boxing Champions;" Will Second Event See Falloff?
NBC Gets Strong Rating For "Premier Boxing Champions;" Will Second Event See Falloff?Published March 9, 2015
PEACOCK PROUD: In Tampa, Tom Jones writes the presence of "PBC" on-air host Al Michaels "seemed solely to let fans know that NBC was taking the event seriously." Play-by-play announcer Marv Albert "was outstanding and the best part of NBC's coverage." Lead analyst Sugar Ray Leonard "wasn't bad, but he wasn't great, either." Corner reporters Laila Ali and B.J. Flores "were fine but really weren't given much room to stretch their legs." All in all, it "felt like NBC was figuring it out as it went along, and only Albert's experience and talent salvaged the night." The debut is "a decent start for NBC, whose coverage should improve." It is "still not on par with HBO, the gold standard for boxing, but let's give NBC a chance," as it is "just getting back into the game" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 3/9). During the telecast, boxer John Molina Jr. said, “Thirty years ago was the last time we were on primetime television. Now, we're given this platform and we're going to make sure we utilize it.” As the network signed off the telecast, Michaels said primetime boxing on network TV is “back with a bang” (“Premier Boxing Champions,” NBC, 3/7).
GUESS WHO'S BACK: USA TODAY's Martin Rogers wrote under the header, "Prime-Time Network Boxing Off To Strong Start." Boxing manager Al Haymon "could scarcely have dreamed of such a positive outcome," as the main event "was everything needed to appeal to the masses and get them to come back for more." The series will "take a long time to deliver a knockout blow to the American mainstream's boxing apathy but this at least was a bloodied nose for the doubters and naysayers." Boxing, "for now at least, is back in prime time and will live or die on whether it provides a compelling enough product to lure in an audience that didn't realize it cared" (USATODAY.com, 3/8).
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