"The Next Great Champ" Premiere's At 5.2 Million Viewers

09.11.04 - Finally there’s some good news for boxing - a sport that has suffered more downs than ups in recent years - as it has been announced that over 5.2 million viewers tuned in to the season premiere of the new FOX network reality show "The Next Great Champ" on Tuesday, September 7. Said Executive Producer Oscar De La Hoya, "This is the first time in many years that our sport is being showcased on network television during primetime, and the fact that “The Next Great Champ” attracted so many people clearly demonstrates that boxing is not dead. All along, my goal was - and continues to be - to help boxing. If, as a result of this show, we are able to attract a new generation of fight fans and show Corporate America that boxing has its rightful place along other major sports like football, baseball, and basketball, then my mission has been accomplished."

The 5.2 million viewers who tuned in to “The Next Great Champ” represent one of the largest audiences in recent history watching a boxing-related event in prime time. "I hope that this show also paved

the way for the other boxing related show, ‘The Contender’, to attract new viewers and create new fans,” continues De La Hoya. “I sincerely hope that they will be as successful in attracting a new audience to our sport as we have been. I look at these two shows as a 1-2 punch combination, with boxing coming out as the ultimate winner."

Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, adds, "I think that it is important to put the success of this show in perspective. While in the world of reality television and its continued race for better ratings the network expectations might have been higher, we have to realize that 5.2 million people watching a boxing related show is without question a success for the sport of boxing."

The second all-new installment of "The Next Great Champ” will air on Tuesday, September 14th, at 9pm / 8pm Central on FOX. If you missed the season premiere, there will be an encore presentation of the hard-hitting opener on Friday, September 10, also at 9pm / 8pm Central.

Article posted on 09.09.2004

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