Mayo’s Moylette came home for a WBC International Silver lightweight title fight at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar and the night proved a ratings success for TG4.
Following an epic fight, Moylette was edged out on a split-decision by Mexican Christian Uruzquieta but there was a sense of triumph about the night which will only be amplified by early preliminary figures.
Irish-Boxing.com can reveal that a total of 280,000 viewers tuned into to watch the card at some stage throughout the three-and-a-half hour broadcast on the Irish-language terrestrial channel.
A higher than expected figure, all parties are said to be happy with the numbers for a show which was in direct competition with ‘The Late Late Show’, Ireland’s consistently highest-viewed show of the week.
This figure excludes any views which came via the TG4 Player and, along with these, numbers are expected to tick over 300,000.
Average or peak figures are currently being determined and will be publicised later in the week.
Moylette, Spike O’Sullivan, Roy Sheahan, Dylan Moran, Victor Rabei, and debutant Aaron Gethins all featured during the live portion of the bill
In terms of other events shown on TG4 this year, the night’s action compares favourably.
The channel has aired Pro14 Rugby through various guises since the competition began back in 2001 and the most watched rugby match this year was the Munster v Connacht game in January which was seen by a total of 140,000 people.
GAA, of course, rules the roost.
The all-Ireland Ladies Football Finals (Junior, Intermediate, and Senior) pulled in a total of 476,000. The Allianz League finals in April also garnered big numbers with the Division 1 Hurling Final bringing in 426,000 and the Division 1 Football Final being viewed by 549,000 sets of eyes.
The figures are bigger than most of TG4’s previous forays into boxing. The 2014 Elites did a total of 206,000 and the 2015 edition did 260,000. Interestingly, the 2014 Intermediates were as high as 279,000 although this was a longer broadcast.
Numbers for Ireland’s Last Man Standing in March were never disclosed but were said to be higher than the UK total for Kell Brook v Sergey Rabchenko (239,000) although the TV-friendly concept nature of this broadcast and the fact that ‘Storm Emma’ was raging and left most people housebound has to be noted.
Viewing figures from the golden age of Irish boxing on RTÉ2 do not include totals, only main event averages and peaks. Bernard Dunne’s homecoming fight with Jim Betts in 2005 averaged 150,000 with a 182,000 peak. His European title win over Esham Pickering in 2007 peaked at 491,000 and his famous win over Ricardo Cordoba in 2009 climaxed at 637,000 showing the potential for growth.
Emphasising the power and scope of terrestrial TV, the pro show in Belfast on Friday night was streamed live worldwide on IFL, one of the biggest boxing channels on YouTube, and has been viewed so far by 31,000 people.
Assassin Promotions, who ran the card out West, hope to agree a deal with TG4 for 2019 and are aiming to run numerous shows.
Assassin’s Conor Slater previously relayed that TG4 were delighted with the night based on initial feedback and interaction – and these figures will no doubt help further.