If you are going to look at the pay-per-view (PPV) sales performance from 2013 and 2014 (total of seven PPV), you will find it ALL, failed to reach the one million mark. This is of course with the exception of Mayweather-Canelo in Sept. 2013 that TOPPED all the PPVs in terms of revenue, ($150M total revenue) selling 2.2 million PPV units.
However, the remaining six boxing PPV buys for the year 2013 and 2014 were below one million buys. In my opinion, the measuring stick to consider a PPV event a HIT—if it breaks the one million mark. In the past, most of the PPV events usually cross one million buys.
Let’s take a look at the last five PPV event and its corresponding units sold. And the reasons why it did not reach one million buys. In fact, two out of five, did not even generate 500,000 buys.
1. Miguel Cotto vs. Sergio Martinez (HBO) – June 7, 2014
Cotto’s upset of former middleweight king Sergio Martinez at the Madison Square Garden approximately generated 350,000 buys on HBO PPV according to Dan Rafael’s report on ESPN. According to Bob Arum, the result is “terrible” but it’s not “disappointing”. The reason he told is that there are too many PPV fights. Yeah. I agree. Correct. 100%.
2. Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Marcos Maidana (Showtime) – May 3, 2014
Mayweather’s majority decision win over Maidana was rumored that it didn’t reach one million buys and generated only between 800,000 to 900,000 buys. Although, Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather Promotions CEO dismissed the notion that results were low. The reason here is that Maidana don’t have the fan base to back up Floyd. And besides the fans seemed not interested of the fight. Fans again asking for Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, following Pacquiao’s dominating comeback win against Brandon Rios.
3. Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley Jr. (HBO) – April 12, 2014
When Manny Pacquiao’s PPV buys dropped drastically when he fought Rios in Macau, Bob Arum immediately said that Pacquiao’s next fight will be back in the US. Manny re-matched Bradley but the result did not even equal those of the first fight. And only generated between 750,000 to 800,000 buys according to ESPN. The reason here is that fans don’t want to cough out their hard earned money for a fight that should not even supposed to happen. Manny certainly won the first Bradley fight. Bradley fans might disagree, but it is what it is. The fans also were “sick and tired” according to Dan Rafael, for Mayweather-Pacquiao not happening.
4. Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Alfredo Angulo (Showtime) – March 8, 2014
Alvarez’s demolition of Angulo reportedly generated 350,000 PPV buys, which is good for two fighters coming from respective losses fighting in a PPV event according to the promoters. The promoters is already expecting that the result will be low, then why the heck its on PPV?
5. Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios – November 24, 2013
Bob Arum before this fight said about great things and potential of the Chinese market. And he has high hopes of this fight not just in gate sales but also in PPV buys. The fight timing has been adjusted to suit the viewing time of those fans in the US, which is the main source of PPV buys. But the fight reportedly drew only about 475,000 buys. The reasons were obvious: Pacquiao is coming from a defeat and no longer exciting as he was before. And of course, the fight is outside Uncle Sam.
Where does PPV stars go from here?
I think in the recent PPVs, the problem is, it becomes more frequent—yes too many PPVs. PPV should be super-fights, not just, “good fights”, it should have drama and story-lines. Second thing is that: PPV price rose drastically and reaches $69 on HD. That’s too much at this point, wherein there’s a lot of alternative to watch it for free. Like the internet. There are also other sports that we will satisfy our Saturday night. I think PPV stars should fight each other, and PPV’S should only be SUPER-FIGHTS. Let’s say Mayweather-Pacquiao on September!