Mayweather PPV numbers lower than expected?
June 8, 2013
ESPN Dan Rafael drew Dana White-like criticism from Showtime’s Stephen Espinosa last week for stating that May’s Mayweather-Guererro PPV drew less than 1 million PPV buys. Rafael indicated that it sold around 870,000 PPV buys and wondered when Showtime would release an estimate.
If you understood the PPV business, you wouldn’t have to wonder “@danrafaelespn: Wonder when the network will put out an actual number”
— Stephen Espinoza (@StephenEspinoza) June 4, 2013
@stephenespinoza Funny, I was going to say if you understood it you’d know the fight did less than 1M.
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) June 4, 2013
Instead of an estimate, the public received the announcement that Mayweather would be facing Canelo Alvarez on September 14th. This is the fight that many assumed would happen next Cinco de Mayo weekend. Could moving the fight up to September be a result of the poor ratings from the Guererro fight? The Canelo Alvarez is the fight that Showtime hopes will set the all-time PPV mark.
There are obvious reasons why this PPV may have scored less than expected. First, many did not know Roberto Guererro and it wasn’t clear how much of an opponent he would be for Mayweather. Second, which is tied with the first, is that there was not much buzz for the fight. Although I thought Showtime did a good job with its All Access shows, there was less controversy occurring running up to the fight. Finally, the practical reason is the $70 price tag ($65 for non-HD). This is the second straight $70 PPV which has not produced the numbers it was projected to do. Wrestlemania 29 earlier this year yielded slightly over 1 million PPV buys but did not exceed the numbers from the year before. Have we reached the tipping point for how much people will pay for PPVs?
Certainly, the return of Mayweather could have been overestimated which could concern Showtime and its investment in the highest paid athlete according to Forbes.