Golden Boy and Schaefer heading to arbitration

June 26, 2014

ESPN reports that Golden Boy Promotions has requested arbitration against former CEO Richard Schaefer.  According to the report, De la Hoya and Golden Boy are requesting $50 million in damages from Schaefer although no allegations have been reported as to the claim.

The case is being sent to private arbitration per the terms of Schaefer’s employment agreement with Golden Boy.  It likely had a clause that if there was a disagreement, in lieu of filing a lawsuit, the parties would agree to go to arbitration which is theoretically faster and less expensive.  Thus, no lawsuit and it is unlikely that the general public will not know much of the evidence and testimony unless it is leaked.

Payout Perspective:

While we may not know the claims against Schaefer, the speculation that Schaefer and Al Haymon may go into business together may be one of the claims Golden Boy is making.  Golden Boy might claim that Schaefer breached his fiduciary duty as CEO by not acting in the company’s best interests.  The recent Main Events lawsuit filed against Al Haymon paints the picture that Schaefer and Haymon have worked together (more on this lawsuit in the coming days).  The legal action is not surprising considering the public departure of Schaefer and other staff as well as Floyd Mayweather.

Alvarez-Lara PPV also in theaters July 12

June 16, 2014

The July 12th PPV between Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara will be shown in movie theaters as well as on Showtime PPV.  In conjunction with Fathom Events, the Showtime/Golden Boy card will be in over 200 theaters across the country.

Fathom Events is the company that has worked with putting UFC PPV events in theaters in the past.  Tickets in my area are going for $18 per ticket.  It provides fans another option to ordering another $60 PPV.


Payout Perspective:

The move to put this PPV in theaters reflects an effort to promote Canelo Alvarez as the top star in its stable.  Alvarez-Lara does not sound like a huge selling PPV event to the casual boxing fan despite the popularity of Alvarez.  However, giving Alvarez as much exposure as possible is the likely reason for the extra investment.  With more boxing PPVs this year, the theater option gives some fans an option in watching this fight.

Schaefer, Mayweather leave Golden Boy

June 4, 2014

ESPN reports on the news of a jolt within the boxing world as Richard Schaefer tendered his resignation from Golden Boy Promotions on Monday.  As a result, Floyd Mayweather left Golden Boy to join up with Schaefer and Al Haymon.

A Michigan newspaper reports that Mayweather will promote his September 13th fight on his own.   Golden Boy had provided promotional assistance to Mayweather fights since 2006.  Mayweather Promotions has co-promoted the undefeated fighter and this will be the first time in 7 years that Mayweather’s company will go at it alone.

The resignation reflects the known tension between a returning Oscar de la Hoya from alcohol rehabilitation and the company’s CEO, Schaefer.  During the Maidana-Mayweather fight hype, de la Hoya made news by calling for Golden Boy to return to work with Top Rank and Bob Arum.   It is widely known that Mayweather does not get along with Top Rank and/or Arum and he has had a less than amicable relationship with de la Hoya.

As Steve Kim of Maxboxing points out, litigation over whether Schaefer breached fiduciary duties as the company’s head could be forthcoming.  What is also interesting is that Schaefer indicated that remains a shareholder of the company.  So, it’s unclear whether he could work for another promotions company as that might be a conflict of interest.

Payout Perspective:

The news of Schaefer and Mayweather’s departure may reflect a shift in power in the boxing business today.  While Golden Boy still has Canelo Alvarez under contract, Al Haymon fighters would seemingly fight under the Mayweather Promotions banner and would thus create another wall from potential fights taking place.  Obviously, all of this is still up in the air but one would think with the news that Mayweather will be promoting his own fight that only Haymon fighters would be on the September card.

Mayweather-Maidana does 900K PPV buys

May 29, 2014

Sports Illustrated reports that the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana fight on May 3rd received 900,000 PPV buys.  According to the Chris Mannix article, the PPV buy rate is from multiple industry sources.

ESPN Dan Rafael had previously reported that the fight sold between 800-900K PPV buys.  Thus, the estimate was right on track.  The SI article points to the lack of promotion for “The Moment” as opposed to “The One,” the September 2013 fight with Canelo Alvarez which drew 2.2 million PPV buys.  This time around, there was no press tour which was due in part to the fact that Maidana was not a known boxing name for the casual viewer.  If a rematch were to happen this September, we could expect more promotion surrounding a second fight now that fans know of Maidana and his style.

Payout Perspective:

900,000 PPV buys is nothing to be upset about but Mayweather fights have an expectation of lofty PPV buys.  It could be the lack of known opponents that is hurting the Mayweather PPVs.  Canelo Alvarez is a widely popular star in Mexico and thus his drawing power plus the promotion for their September 2013 fight equated to the huge buy rate.  So, the question is who out there is a big enough star that fans would pay $75 to see fight Mayweather.

Preliminary indications show that Mayweather-Maidana drew 800K-900K PPV buys

May 18, 2014

ESPN’s Dan Rafael indicated in a Sportsnation Chat with fans  that the PPV buy rates from the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana fight sold between 800,000 to 900,000 PPVs.  Golden Boy and Showtime have yet to make an official announcement.

The news of the buy rate based on Rafael’s sources are disappointing considering it’s a Mayweather fight.  It is also a departure from the 2.2 million buys this past September.

While no official announcement on the PPV has been made, Rafael’s comments during the fan chat make sense.  If the buy rate news was good, Golden Boy and Showtime would have made an immediate announcement.  However, with no information given since the May 3rd fight, one might assume that Rafael’s estimation would be correct.

Payout Perspective:

The 800K-900K is still an impressive number but not the 1 million PPV buys that Golden Boy/Showtime and Mayweather had hoped.  If there’s any positive from the promoters’ perspective, the figure shows that Canelo Alvarez is a legitimate PPV draw. The 2.2 million buys was due to a huge contingent of Mexican fans cheering Alvarez.  Marcos Maidana is an entertaining fighter but does not have the broad appeal of Canelo Alvarez.  Then, there’s the fact that there was less marketing push behind this fight in comparison to the Alvarez fight.

With Manny Pacquiao producing another Pacquiao PPV “disappointment,” we may have to start to re-calibrate what a successful big event boxing PPV draws.

Mayweather (of course) tops payouts for “The Moment”

May 3, 2014

Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports reports the fight purses for Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Mayweather will make $32 million without factoring other streams of revenue.

Mayweather’s opponent, Marcos Maidana will make $1.5 million. Maidan will also receive a portion of the television rights from Argentina and a share of the PPV revenues according to the ESPN.  As for the undercard, Adrien Broner will make $1.25 million while his opponent Carlos Molina will make $150,000.  Amir Khan will make $1.5 million and his opponent Luis Collazo will make $350,000.   In the first night of the evening, J’Leon Love will make $100,000 while his opponent Marco Antonio Periban will earn $35,000.

Payout Perspective:

The first Saturday of May is always jam-packed with sports (3 NBA Game 7s and the Kentucky Derby) and is capped by the Mayweather fight.  Mayweather’s pay is not surprising but the undercard fighter makes this payroll pretty hefty.  Certainly the undercard has much more interest than an HBO PPV and we will see if it will do better than the Pacquiao-Bradley II fight last month.

The top televised boxing cards from April 2013-2014

May 2, 2014

The Sports Business Journal recently put out its “Fight Issue” which gave a rundown on the most-watched boxing matches from April 2013 to April 2014.

The top 6 according to the list compiled by SBJ:

  1. October 5, 2013 – Miguel Cotto vs. Delvin Rodriguez – HBO – 1.55M
  2. September 28, 2013 – Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. vs. Bryan Vera I – HBO – 1.42M
  3. November 2, 2013 – Gennady Golovkin vs. Curtis Stevens – HBO – 1.41M
  4. March 1, 2014 – Adonis Stevenson vs. Tony Bellew – HBO – 1.4M
  5. June 22, 2014 – Adrien Broner vs. Paulie Malignaggi – SHO – 1.28M
  6. December 14, 2014 – Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana – SHO – 1.28M

Notably, the bulk of fights scoring high on the list were from HBO with only 3 Showtime events hitting the top 20.  NBC had one appearance with the Steve Cunningham-Tyson Fury fight on April 20, 2013 delivering 1.2M viewers for the duration of the broadcast.

Of the top 20, 19 of the events hit at least 1 million viewers for the main event of the card.

Payout Perspective:

Remember when we said Boxing was dead?  It is not.  In fact, the competition between Golden Boy/Showtime and HBO/Top Rank has helped fight fans see some competitive fights and more of them.   The one drawback for economic-conscious fans is that there are more PPVs in addition to the amount one would pay for the premium channels of HBO and Showtime.

Boxing beefing up on PPVs in 2014

April 13, 2014

Most MMA fans realize the strain that pay per views have on the wallet.  Boxing is starting to load up on them too as more of the bigger Golden Boy and Top Rank fights are heading to PPV instead of its respective premium networks.

Boxing PPVs are no longer limited to Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.  It was announced today that Canelo Alvarez will fight Erislandy Lara on July 12th on Showtime PPV.  This will be the second PPV of the year for Alvarez as Golden Boy will hope to get at least 3 PPV fights from the Mexican star.

In addition to Alvarez-Lara, the big event upcoming for Showtime/Golden Boy is May 3rd’s fight between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana.

Last night, HBO/Top Rank featured its biggest fight in some time with Manny Pacquiao avenging his June 2012 loss to Timothy Bradley.  Its next big PPV fight will be Sergio Martinez taking on Miguel Cotto on June 7th.  The broadcast also hinted that Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. will face Gennady Golovkin later this year in what should be a PPV affair.  Although not on PPV, Juan Manuel Marquez facing Mike Alvarado is PPV quality but will be on HBO (opposite the Bellator PPV) May 17th.

Payout Perspective:

Are boxing fans willing to spend $70-$75 on these fights?  If you count Saturday’s PPV, and you spend money on all of the boxing PPVs currently announced by the big fight promotions, you would be out $285 (assuming Mayweather’s PPV is $75) and it will only be July.  Certainly there are intriguing matchups.  However, one of the criticisms that came up during the Pacquiao PPV was the lack of worthwhile undercard fights.  Last night we saw 4 undercard fights go the distance which pushed the main event start after midnight for those on the east coast.  Golden Boy has done a better job of putting on interesting undercard matchups.  The UFC does provide better undercard fights as compared to boxing PPVs.  But with the addition of more boxing PPVs, are fans of both MMA and boxing willing to spend the extra money on boxing PPVs.

We assume boxing fans out there have HBO or Showtime or both to take advantage of its fight content as well as its fights.  Certainly boxing fans still get their money’s worth when it comes to fights on the premium networks (e.g., Maidana-Broner on Showtime last December and JMM-Alvarado coming up on HBO).  There have not been any announcements for the second half of the year but we can expect at least 4 or 5 more PPVs announced (Mayweather in September, Pacquiao sometime late 2014, JCC-GGG, Canelo late 2014 and perhaps a Broner fight).  Can boxing fans keep spending their money on these PPVs?

U.S. Supreme Court denies review of Mayweather copyright case

April 4, 2014

This past week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of a copyright infringement lawsuit from a musician that claimed that Floyd Mayweather, Jr. used a version of his song without his permission at Wrestlemania 24.

By denying musician Anthony Dash’s request for the Court to review his claims, it upholds a ruling that the musician was not able to prove he suffered monetary losses when Mayweather used a version of his song for his entrance music at Wrestlemania 24 in 2008.

The background facts of this case are interesting as Mayweather signed on to do a match at the WWE’s biggest event of the year.  It’s fairly common for celebrity guests to make appearances at this event. The contract Mayweather signed with the WWE did not include specifics on what entrance music Mayweather would use.  The WWE had communicated to Mayweather that it had selected a 50 Cent song for his entrance. But, the night before the event Mayweather’s manager told the WWE he would enter using another song and represented to the WWE that they had rights to it and granted the WWE the right to use it during his appearance.  The entrance music played for 3 minutes as Mayweather came in for his match against The Big Show.

Mayweather used the entrance music at one more WWE event.

Dash claimed that the entrance music played by Mayweather contained his copyrighted instrumental music over lyrics.  While he claimed that in 2005 he created the instrumental of the song, he did not file a federal copyright for it until 2009.

The court held that Dash could not prove actual and profit damages claims stemming from the use of his work for entrance music.  Specifically, the court was not impressed with the report produced by Dash’s expert claiming that he was entitled to $1,019,226 in actual and profit damages for the infringement at Wrestlemania alone.

(H/t: Law360.c0m)

Payout Take:  The crux of the issue centered on whether the musician could prove damages as a result of the infringement.  The report provided by his side appears overblown by just looking at the amount claimed.  I am half-joking when I write that the U.S. Supreme Court timed the issuance of this denial of review during “Wrestlemania Week.”  The underlying facts of the case are amusing considering the change in entrance music and the subsequent request for over $1 million for 3 minutes of playing a song of a relative unknown musician. With the U.S. Supreme Court finding in his favor, The Money Team gets another win.

Canelo and Garcia produce for Showtime-Golden Boy

March 19, 2014

Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions should be happy with the past two weeks as its promotion has produced good numbers on PPV and on Showtime.

Canelo Alvarez’s first time headlining a boxing PPV has produced “well over 350,000 buys” according to Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions.  Alvarez stopped Alfredo Angulo in the 10th round of their fight March 8th.  The 350,000 buys is a good number if you consider the Timothy Bradley-Juan Manuel Marquez fight last October produced 375,000 PPV buys.

This past Saturday night Showtime showed the replay of the Alvarez-Angulo fight as a lead-in to Danny Garcia versus Mauricio Herrera.  The show peaked at 1.1 million viewers and averaged 972,000 viewers of its Showtime subscribers.  The event was a 26% raise in viewership from Garcia’s last appearance on Showtime when he defeated Zab Judah in April 2013.

(H/t:  Bad Left Hook and ESPN)

Payout Perspective:

According to ESPN, the PPV generated at least $20 million.  This would be roughly based on the number of buys (350K) multiplied by $54.95, the HD price point for the fight.  The PPV buys are a good indicator that Alvarez has bounced back from his loss to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in September and it did nothing to diminish his image as the most popular active boxer in Mexico.  At only 23 years old, he has a bright future ahead of him.

As for the Garcia fight, a part of the rating might be attributed to those wanting to see the Alvarez fight.  But, Garcia, who was also on the Mayweather undercard, is beginning to garner a following which may equate to a bump in viewership since his last time on the network.  The Showtime fight also competed with UFC 171 Saturday night.  So, despite the average viewership being below 1 million, it still did well for a card with Garcia as the feature.

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