BY THE NUMBERS: Pacman fever no more

“The world stops no more.”

Remember the days when every street in the country seemed like streets of a ghost town because you can barely see people. Less crime, light traffic with very few to no cars in the streets and major highways, and every TV screens and radios tuned it to the most anticipated fight of the country’s national fighter Pacquiao.

That was the norm then every time the Pambansang Kamao Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is fighting inside the boxing ring.  The whole country feels like being under a spell of a man who brings pride and glory to a nation beholden to a hero and savior. And Pacquiao was successful at that…..BEFORE.

Loss of Interest

From being the most anticipated TV event, Pacquiao’s bout has steadily declined and lost viewer interest. During the height of his career, people will always look forward to the big day several months ahead.

TV stations will be bombarded by promotional spots and commercials announcing his upcoming bouts. And the result will be people talking about it like they have a countdown to the fight night.

But after every other fight, the interest dwindles. People are no longer talking about it as enthusiastic as it was before. Like his latest fight with Jeff Horn where he was defeated, people seemed to not care anymore prior to the fight.

No lavish TV promo, no hype, and no sensational coverage.  In fact, the fight wasn’t carried by HBO pay-per-view and instead it was shown on premium cable channel ESPN, evident how viewers lost interest in Pacquiao fights.

Ratings slide

In the Philippines, former Pacman fight spectators have also declined. Before, almost every city or municipality in the country has their public viewing for their constituencies. But in Pacquiao’s most recent fights, it was lessened if not totally gone.

TV ratings have also shown downtrend pattern.

Based on AGB Nielsen, his last five fights against Bradley, Algieri and Vargas saw declining TV viewership.

Disclaimer: Mayweather fight was not included because it was shown simultaneously on 3 TV stations.

And his last against Jeff Horn, AGB reported a meager 13.9% (NUTAM People) rating which is equivalent to only 18% of total viewership percentage of the day, a decline from 33% and 22% viewership percentage from his two previous fights.

Kantar data also shared the same trend. Although viewership slightly rose during Pacquiao-Vargas fight, it was not sustained with the Pacquiao-Horn bout as it headed down again.

With those figures, it cannot be denied that indeed the Pacman spell is strongly diminishing.

Age, Scandals, and Controversies

As Pacquiao age, it is understandable that fans will decline and interest on his fight will eventually wither because he will no longer be as exciting inside the ring compared during his prime.

But aside from his age, scandals and controversies in politics might have contributed also to his diminishing charm. His unacceptable views and reckless statements on controversial issues make a big dent in his support base. With his attention divided into boxing and politics, the tendency will always be one or both will suffer because the focus will be sacrificed.

Pacquiao and his fans may disagree but it is very evident he’s no longer fighting for the country’s glory. Gone were the days when Pacquiao’s fight is only about Pinoy pride, because his recents were only about the purse and fame. It’s not about the country anymore but his popularity he wants to sustain more.

But sadly, proving to the world that one person can be a Senator and a boxing champ concurrently, seemed unappealable to many.

ABOUT: By The Numbers is a weekly column written by Ron Mia (@rojan88 on Twitter, @akosirojan88 on IG), a Blogger by night and Data Analyst by day. The column focuses on analyzing TV shows based on their survey numbers. A detailed, no holds barred analysis of what’s hot and what’s not in the world of television.

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