Other than the biggest fights, boxing has recently struggled to penetrate the mainstream sports discussion.
Yes, Boxing. That decline in viewership, apparent for the past several years, was the final straw for Nelson.
Peter Nelson, the 37-year-old executive vice president of HBO Sports, announced Thursday morning, in a meeting with the HBO Boxing production staff, that the network was dropping boxing. Now that base is roughly 40 million, but according to Nielsen, HBO boxing telecasts in 2018 averaged about 820,000 viewers, or about 2 percent of the total audience.
Still, the prospect that HBO would soon be out of the boxing business seemed unthinkable to some industry insiders. Open in the app.
When a 20-year-old Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history by knocking out Trevor Berbick in 1986, he did it on HBO. That may have more to do with HBO than it does with boxing.
And Showtime, whose fights were once used as a feeder system by HBO, presented 22 live boxing events in 2018. DAZN represents the next wave of boxing programming. The decision cuts against a recent influx of investors and broadcasters into boxing and the much wider availability of fights on a variety of digital platforms. The network has no boxing broadcasts scheduled beyond a middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden on Oct.
Of the announcing staff, only Lampley is expected to remain with HBO.
But a superflyweight bout presented as an HBO main event on Sept. After 45 years, more than 1,000 fights and some of the most lucrative and disputed matches of all time, HBO is throwing in the towel on professional boxing. A version of this article appears in print on , on Page B8 of the New York edition with the headline: A heavyweight showdown between Joshua and Deontay Wilder, for example, might tempt HBO, he acknowledged, if only for one night.