Joshua vs Klitschko: HBO broadcast delayedWritten by Lee Cleveland
The upcoming heavyweight title superfight between former long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko and current IBF champion Anthony Joshua is on course to be the biggest fight in British history.
Announced in mid/late December, over 80,000 tickets were sold by January 17.
On the line will not only be Joshua’s IBF World Championship and the vacant IBO and WBA World Championships, but the unofficial titles of consensus heavyweight champion and king of boxing.
In the States, Showtime will air the fight live at 4:15 p.m. ET while HBO will televise it between 10:45 and 11 p.m. ET/PT.
Of course, the networks will deliver separate telecasts.
“I'm extremely happy and thankful that our respective U.S. TV partners Showtime and HBO reached an agreement,” said Bernd Boente, Managing Director of Klitschko Management Group, via USA Today. “This happened before in the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao and the Lewis vs. Tyson fights and shows you the magnitude of our event at Wembley Stadium on April 29.”
Wladimir Klitschko vs Anthony Joshua
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Broadcast: SKY Sports (UK); Showtime, HBO (U.S.)
Titles: WBA (Vacant), IBF
Champion: Joshua (IBF)
HBO has, on and off, been the home of Klitschko’s professional boxing career in the U.S. Given he has another fight left on their contract and the international buzz Klitschko vs Joshua is generating, it was probably wise for them to purchase this fight. Moreover, HBO's viewing audience is much larger than Showtime's so it's possible HBO will get more views, despite the tape delay.
Two years ago, Klitschko's title defense against Bryant Jennings at Madison Square Garden peaked at 1.742 million viewers, per Nielsen Media Research, and averaged 1.637 million viewers.
Solid numbers, but they were likely partially propelled by the location. That stated, Bryant Jennings' stock was nowhere near Anthony Joshua's today. Klitschko vs Joshua is, overall, the much bigger fight.
By the time the HBO broadcast starts, most fans will already know the outcome. Nevertheless, if they are subscribers of HBO but not Showtime, many will be inclined to tune in to the delayed broadcast anyway.