Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

Boxing: “Fading, Niche Sport” Or Are Declining Ratings The Product of Pandemic Driven Limitations?


Since boxing has returned from the sports hiatus, the sport’s linear television ratings have been in decline. Top Rank cards on ESPN have drawn just 332,000 viewers since June 9th (down -51% from the 680,000 viewers averaged between Aug.’19 and Apr.’20), while Premier Boxing Champions has seen -36% of its pre-COVID-19 Fox audience evaporate (down to 887,000 viewers since Aug. 8 from 1.39 million). 

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Questions for Classroom Discussion

  1. What is a niche sport?
  2. In your opinion, is boxing a niche sport?
  3. Based on information from this story, describe what is happening to boxing viewership.
  4. Why do you think boxing’s audience is in decline while UFC continues to grow?
  5. According to information from this story, how has pay-per-view impacted the overall audience for the sport of boxing? How might a new approach to televising and streaming events help the popularity of the sport?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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