Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Great Rating For THE CONTENDER Finale On ESPN

ESPN′s THE CONTENDER Season Finale Ranks as One of the Highest-Rated EOE Boxing Telecasts in Nine Years

Everlast Worldwide Inc., manufacturer, marketer and licensor of sporting goods, apparel, footwear and other active lifestyle products under the Everlast brand name and an exclusive apparel provider for THE CONTENDER, is proud to announce that ESPN′s top-rated ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE) series THE CONTENDER, produced in conjunction with Mark Burnett Productions and DreamWorks, posted its highest rating with Tuesday night′s LIVE, two-hour season finale from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. The telecast, which saw Grady "Bad Boy" Brewer crowned Contender champion, earned a 1.9 rating, representing an average of more than 1.7 million homes and 2.3 million viewers.

The series′ rating was further solidified in comparison to the same time slot in 2005 by showing an increase of 56%. Key demographics of the show had an increased viewership of more than 100% as compared to last season and the season finale was the highest-rated boxing telecast on ESPN in nine years, dating back to January 10, 1997. Complementing the telecast, ESPN′s multi-media platforms offered live video on and ESPN360 on-demand where fans could view two under card bouts from the event exclusively.

"The strength of these results demonstrates the continued hunger by our viewers not only for THE CONTENDER series but for the kind of programming it represents: compelling human drama that allows viewers to witness first-hand the ultimate outcome," said Ron Wechsler, EOE Vice President of Development.

Seth Horowitz, Chairman, President & CEO of Everlast Worldwide Inc. explained, "We are pleased with the ratings from the LIVE season finale of THE CONTENDER. Being the exclusive supplier of apparel and equipment for the show has generated tremendous awareness for our brand. THE CONTENDER catered heavily to the desired 18-34 demographics bringing in and reinforcing the Everlast brand to our consumers, which is vital to the growth of our business."

The live season finale provided boxing fans with two exceptional bouts fought in front of more than 12,000 ticket holders: an eight-round bronze medal match-up between Cornelius "K-9" Bundrage (Detroit) and Norberto "El Gallito" Bravo (Tucson, Ariz.), and the title fight between Steve "2 Pound" Forbes (Portland, Ore./Las Vegas) and Grady "Bad Boy" Brewer (Lawton, Okla.). Bundrage captured the bronze belt by way of a technical knockout in the seventh round while the favored Forbes lost to an inspired Brewer in a 10-round split (2-1) decision. Along with the title of Contender Champion, Brewer won $500,000 and a new Toyota Tundra.