Ratings hit Last Man Standing to return – doors opened for other TV shows

Ireland’s Last Man Standing was a big TV hit and looks likely to be back on your screens in the Autumn.

The eight-man single-elimination tournament put together by Assassin and Red Corner Promotions brought boxing back to terrestrial TV for the first time in over six years and, while detailed figures have yet to be released, it seems the show was a ratings success.

Assassin’s Conor Slater revealed over 250,000 watched the show on TV at some stage with 40,000 more viewing the tournament and the Irish title fight between Jay Byrne and Craig O’Brien on the TG4 Player.

Such figures for a show the Irish language station did little to promote via their platforms prior to it being broadcast are impress and prove there is an appetite for boxing on television.

However, it seems it wasn’t just the viewing numbers that had TG4 smiling, by all accounts the goodwill and love they got online – including from one Conor McGregor -for bringing boxing back to the box didn’t go unnoticed.

“We look back on and there were a lot of things that went wrong behind the scenes in the build-up to it, but when people got there and what people saw I think that really went well,” Slater told Irish-Boxing.com.

“The reaction we got from the media and general fans was great. Then when we went back to sit down with TG4 they were over the moon. They seemed delighted with how they were perceived for going back into boxing and the viewing figures they got too.”

“They were looking at north of a quarter of a million views – there are a lot of different numbers like peak audience and average audience, but I think it’s over 250,000 views with 40,000 more watching it on the player.”

With such numbers and with room for improvement, running the entertaining format again seems a no brainier.

Slater confirmed the contest which made a star of Roy Sheahan and produced some entertaining three-round clashes will return in the Autumn, but at what weight is still to be decided.

“We will be doing another Last Man Standing. I would say it looks likely to be September or October time. I don’t know [which weight it will be at]. People that know a lot more than me about Irish boxing tell me welterweight. I have heard lightweight and super feather too. It’s tough, but I would say September-October for the next Last Man Standing.”

“We are looking to do another three shows in total this year, potentially with TG4. We are looking to nail down a long-term multiple fight deal,” he revealed before hinting that, as a result of Last Man Standing’s TV success, networks are now interested in shows, fights and titles they were not previously.

“We heard that people went to stations before with the likes of Irish title fights, say your Paddy McDonagh vs Steve Collins or Luke Keeler vs Darren Cruise, they didn’t want to know about them.”

“The networks were happy to discuss Last Man Standing – I don’t want to make presumptions but eir Sport came in and did some fights and we have had talks with networks and they seem open to broadcasting domestic title fights.”

It now seems quite plausible that TG4 will broadcast a straight up Summer show run by Assassin and JB Promotions as well as broadcast the next Last Man instalment.

“In Assassin’s ideal world we have a multiple fight deal with TG4 – they came in first with us and we would like to stick with them – but I think the door has been opened for other promoters to work with other networks.”

“There will be a show in the Summer with Irish title fights and BUI Celtic title fights and then Last Man Standing and maybe two more before the year is out. Hopefully, they will be on TV.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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