Pacquiao-Broner replay draws minimal audience Saturday on Showtime

January 30, 2019

The Manny Pacquiao Adrien Broner replay on Showtime Saturday night drew 367,000 viewers according to Nelsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The replay which saw Pacquiao defeat Broner via unanimous decision went up against PBC on Fox and Bellator 214 on Saturday.  In addition, the NHL All-Star Game and NBA on ABC featuring the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics were on the same night.

In comparison, the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury replay drew 488,000 viewers on Showtime in December.

In addition, MMA Payout has obtained the official payouts from the Nevada Athletic Commission.

The official tickets sold were 11,410 for a gate of $6,003,322.00.  There were 248 comps according to the commission.

Payout Perspective:

Despite his age and absence from boxing in North America, it was a good gate and a healthy amount of paying fans in attendance.  Regardless of what we think of Adrien Broner, he has made himself into a name in boxing and he helped with sales.  The replay rating is a little disappointing but with a live event on at the same night it might have overshadowed those that didn’t pay for the PPV.

Pacquiao’s return to U.S. draws 400K PPV buys according to reports

January 25, 2019

The return of Manny Pacquiao stateside has produced a Showtime PPV event drawing approximately 400,000 PPV buys according to multiple outlets.

Pacquiao was dominant in a unanimous decision victory over Adrien Broner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  Although this buy rate was provided to ESPN and Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, it does not appear that Showtime will make a formal announcement.  It previously stated that it would no longer make formal announcement of PPV buys unless they were to approach or break records.

For the return of Pacqiao to fight in the United States, it has to be considered a success. His last fight in the United States, a win over Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas sold near 300,000 PPV buys.

According to Nevada Athletic Commission records, Pacquiao earned $10 million for the fight.  Broner  made 2.5 million.

It is interesting to note that the NAC payment verification and breakdown sheet included $3 million to the IRS for Pacquiao and an advance of $1.75 million.  Broner was advanced over $200,000 for the fight.

Payout Perspective:

What exactly brought back Pacquiao to boxing PPV success when his last fight was on the yet-to-be noticed at the time ESPN+?  A part of it has to do with Broner.  While its clear that he’s not the best fighter, Broner brings a notoriety about him that makes people want to watch.  This was Broner’s first PPV but he has been a rating draw on Showtime.  There’s also the factor of Pacquiao coming back to fight in the US.  Why that matters when most fans are going to watch on television is beyond my analytical and/or logical thinking.  Then, there’s the PBC element.  Manny signing with PBC has seemed to helped find some direction to his career.  There’s no doubt he’s fighting Mayweather next and he should be back to being a PPV star again.

Canelo-Jacobs set for DAZN on May 4th

January 17, 2019

Canelo Alvarez will be fighting Daniel Jacobs on May 4, 2019.  The event will be streamed on DAZN.

The fight will unify the WBA, IBF, and WBC middleweight titles.

The Jacobs fight is one that boxing fans wanted despite it not being the sexiest of picks.  Yet, the 35-2 Jacobs should have won a decision over Gennady Golovkin when the two met in March 2017.  GGG won the fight, which aired on PPV, via unanimous decision.

Alvarez defeated GGG this past September in the second matchup.  Although it’s inevitable that the two complete the trilogy, GGG is currently a free agent looking for a broadcast partner.  While he may sign with DAZN, it has not come to fruition.  Meanwhile, Alvarez has aligned himself with the streaming service and appeared late last year in an easy victory over Rocky Felding.

Payout Perspective:

There will not be any pressure for PPV buys here since it will be streaming on DAZN.  But, the pressure to sell sponsorships and subscriptions for the event will be magnified as the Cinco de Mayo weekend fight is the biggest weekend of the boxing calendar.  How Golden Boy will come up with the additional revenue to make up for the PPV losses will be interesting to see.

Update on Wilder-Povetkin appeal

January 16, 2019

When we last wrote about the Deontay Wilder-Alexander Povetkin lawsuit, Wilder had filed its appeal brief in which it sought the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the District Court decision which sided with Povetkin.

The legal drama has been long and winding and despite a jury trial that determined that the Russian boxer had taken Meldonium after January 1, 2016, the trial court sided with Povetkin’s attorneys after the WBC, the boxing governing body, had reversed course on its belief that Povetkin had taken Meldonium.

You had to wonder what was the court thinking?

The issue of money deposited in a trust account still remained a question.  Upon the court siding with Povetkin and his promoter, they demanded the $4.3 million held in escrow.

The Court opinion sided with Povetkin on the basis of the Bout Agreement entered into was the deciding factor.  It cited language in the World Boxing Council’s Rules and Regulations which stated that “any dispute or controversy” would be bound by the WBC.

Another layer of this dispute revolves around purse money placed in escrow for the fight.  Wilder had written the escrow company to hold the money until a court decided the outcome.  Povetkin and World of Boxing objected to this and sued claiming a violation of the duty of good faith and fair dealing.  In addition, they claimed that Wilder had violated the terms of the Bout Agreement and should be subject to a liquidated damages clause of $2.5 million.  Wilder was due $4.5 million to fight Povetkin while Povetkin was due $1.9 million.  In addition, there was a $715,000 bonus for the winner.

While Povetkin and his promoter claimed that they were the winners and should be entitled to the money sitting in escrow, Wilder appealed the ruling citing issues with the trial court ruling.

Our rundown on Wilder’s appeal brief from this past October is here.

In November, Povetkin/WOB’s attorneys filed its answering brief to essentially agree with the trial court’s ruling which negated the jury trial’s ruling and request that the appeals court vacate the jury verdict.

The attorneys argue that there was no breach of the Bout Agreement by the Russian as the contract vests discretion in the WBC to make all the decisions relating to the bout.

The focus of Povetkin’s brief cites that the WBC issued a supplemental ruling in November 2017 which stated that “it is not possible to ascertain that Mr. Povetkin ingested Meldonium after January 1, 2016.”  The basis was in line with the trial court when it sided with Povetkin in stating that the contract for the fight with Wilder contained no language “mandating that each fighter refrain from ingesting banned substances.” It would defer to the WBC on these matters on whether or not an athlete breached the contract.  This ruling set aside the authority of the trial court and deferred it to the WBC.

The power quote utilized by Povetkin in its response to Wilder’s appeal brief was that “the parties specifically agreed that the WBC’s decision on this question [anti-doping] would be conclusive.”  Povetkin’s attorney cite a NASCAR case which ruled that it should follow NASCAR’s rules.”  It also cited the Tom Brady Deflategate case as the District Court “improperly invaded the contractual authority of the NFL Commissioner.

The basis of Povetkin’s argument that the appeals court should uphold the trial court’s decision is based on its interpretation of the contract which indicates that the WBC is the arbiter of all claims under the Bout Agreement.  As a result, since it determined that it could not conclude that Povetkin ingested Meldonium post-January 1, 2016, he did not breach the contract.

This conclusion seems sound in a vacuum.  The court should defer to the contract.  But it doesn’t seem to harmonize with the factors in this case.  Namely, Povetkin’s failed drug test in April 2016 and the subsequent cancellation (or postponement) of the Wilder fight.  Perhaps the key issue here is whether the bout was cancelled or postponed as Wilder believed it to be cancelled while Povetkin argues it was postponed.

Povetkin argues that the bout was a postponement and it was not a breach.  It cites the Bout Agreement with the WBC rules which states that a scheduled fight may be “rescheduled…or postponed by the WBC.”

In addition, Povetkin’s attorneys argue that the trial jury decided an immaterial fact indicating that the question presented to the jury was whether Meldonium was ingested by Povetking post-January 1, 2016, but the Bout Agreement was not signed until April 11, 2016 and “there is no contractual provision covering the parties conduct prior to execution.”

Povetkin also stakes his claim to the money in the Escrow Account which was to award the purse amounts to each fighter as well as the commission fees.

Finally, Povetkin argues that it should be awarded fees for the anticipatory breach of Wilder.  The claim is that Wilder wrongfully repudiated the Bout Agreement by not showing up in Russia prior to the fight in May 2016.  Instead, Wilder flew home from his training camp in England once he learned that Povetkin had failed a drug test.  Povetkin claims that the bout was to be postponed but Wilder breached the Bout Agreement by treating it as if the bout was cancelled.

Wilder will have a chance to respond to Povetkin’s appeal brief once more prior to oral arguments which should happen later this year.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

MMA Payout Year in Review: No. 7 – DAZN enters sports streaming market

December 28, 2018

This past June, Bellator MMA announced a deal with sport streaming service DAZN.  The late September 2018 launch in the U.S. of the $9.99 per month service was another challenge on the traditional way we watch sports.

Perhaps bigger than the Bellator deal, and securing another deal with Combates America, it signed Canelo Alvarez to an exclusive deal which began in December.  Alvarez pummeled an overmatched Fielding.

Bellator MMA aired several events which were exclusive to DAZN but also some events were also airing on the Paramount Network.  But the streaming on the digital platform allowed subscribers to see the Bellator product where the promotion did not have media deals.

DAZN is spending a lot of money for media rights and we’ll see if it pays off in the end.  For Bellator, it’s hard to decipher whether the deal will help recruit new fans to its product, but it gets it more exposure in previously untapped markets.

The question for Bellator will be whether it decides to abandon the notion of PPV and air exclusive events on DAZN.

MMA Payout Year in Review: No. 8 – Golden Boy promotes first MMA event

December 27, 2018

Golden Boy Boxing made its debut promoting mixed martial arts this past November with a card in Inglewood, California.  The event was headlined by Tito Ortiz taking on Chuck Liddell.

The event was centered around the main event which was a farce to begin with as it was clear that Liddell was in no shape to fight.  The California State Athletic Commission, the one that issued a license to Jon Jones, provided Liddell with the license to fight Ortiz.  Based on the looks of Liddell, the 48-year-old was in no shape to fight, yet, CSAC granted him the opportunity.  To no surprise, Ortiz put Liddell out of his misery in the first round.

Maybe the only good thing that came out of the event was the UFC signing Deron Winn. The 5’7 205-pound Winn earned a victory over former UFC light heavyweight Tom Lawlor.

The pre-fight press conference was one of the worst showings to promote an event as Oscar De La Hoya appeared to be preoccupied with something else.

De La Hoya hopes to be a disrupter in the world of MMA and become an alternative to the UFC as he took aim straight at White.  The head of the UFC went right after the Golden Boy and even included salary and PPV specifics in a piece authored by Yahoo! Sports Kevin Iole.

For his troubles, Liddell made $250,000 while Ortiz earned $200,000.  The rest of the payouts, attendance and gate from the event are below.

11-24-18 GB MMA Payouts by on Scribd

11-24-18 GB MMA Box Office by on Scribd

The PPV was originally priced at $49.99 but was reduced by $10.00 to $39.99.  According to multiple reports, it was estimated at 40,000 PPV buys and as low as 30,000 PPV buys.

Payout Perspective:

Despite the low PPV numbers, Golden Boy professes to continue promoting MMA events.  While the competition may be beneficial for fighters, I’m not sure its debut was something to redo.  If it can be a place for entertaining fighters that no longer want to be in the UFC or Bellator, there could be a place in for it in the MMA stratosphere.  The question will be if Oscar De La Hoya will be engaged enough with this venture to ensure that he develops a quality product rather than attempting to “hot shot” events with something like Ortiz-Liddell.

PBC on Fox drew 1.69M viewers Saturday night

December 23, 2018

PBC on Fox Saturday night drew 1.69 million viewers according to Television By Numbers.  The first event for PBC as the anchor to Fox drew 0.5 in the Adult 18-49 demo and a 2 share in fast overnights.

The event was set to air from 8-10:30pm and the ratings reflect just the first two hours.  The event featured the Charlo brothers in the main events of the evening.  Jermell Charlo was upset by Tony Harrison and Jermall Charlo was not impressive in a win against Matt Korobov, a last-minute replacement.

The last PBC on Fox in August drew 933,000 viewers.  In April another PBC on Fox drew 880,000.  In February, PBC on Fox drew 1.06 million viewers.

PBC on Fox was last in overall viewership for its time slot but second behind a Dateline NBC rerun in A18-49 viewership.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are still below the pace of UFC on Fox cards which may be seen as a disappointed considering the additional shoulder programming Fox gave PBC including mentions during the NFL on Fox as well as a ton of shoulder programming on FS1.

Lomachenko fight draws over 2M viewers on ESPN Saturday night

December 11, 2018

The Vasiliy Lomachenko-Jose Pedraza fight on ESPN on Saturday night drew 1.865 million viewers on the network for its two-hour broadcast which was preceded by the Heisman Trophy telecast.

The lead-in likely helped the Top Rank Boxing ratings but Lomachenko is becoming destiny television for many fans.  The event drew 0.63 in the A18-49 demo per ShowBuzz Daily.  The fight alone during the telecast drew 2,013,000 viewers and peaked at 2,100,000 per Nielsen.

Its the second-most viewed fight on ESPN this year after Terrence Crawford’s win over Jose Benavidez this past October.

The Heisman Trophy Presentation on ESPN drew 2.928 million viewers and came on a night of a UFC PPV, HBO Boxing and the replay of Fury-Wilder on Showtime.

Lomachenko’s last fight on ESPN this past May against Jorge Linares drew slightly over 1 million viewers.

He drew 1.73M viewers last December for his win over Guillermo Rigondeux.

Payout Perspective:

Lomachenko was put in this same timeslot in 2017 after the Heisman Trophy Presentation and did better this time around.  It could be that more fans are aware of Lomachenko and used to Top Rank on ESPN that improved the ratings.  But, viewers are definitely gravitating toward Lomachenko as the ratings dipped after the Heisman telecast and then rose again when Lomachenko was about to fight.  We shall see what he does next as his next anticipated fight looks to be in April.

Report: Fury-Wilder draws over 320K PPV buys

December 4, 2018

Mike Coppinger of RingTV is reporting that the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder fight this past Saturday night drew over 320,000 PPV buys.  The number is seen as good news for Showtime Boxing.

The heavyweight battle which resulted in a draw did not disappoint those that paid $74.99 for the event at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The PPV event was an indicator of the popularity and marketing behind this fight as both boxers had never headlined a pay-per-view event.  The two fighters helped sell the fight with their animated exchanges at press conferences and during face-offs.  The two pulled through with an exciting fight which saw Tyson Fury get up off the ground after it looked like Deontay Wilder had knocked him out.

Payout Perspective:

320,000 PPV buys is an unofficial buy rate since Showtime has not provided official word on the number of buys.  It may never confirm or provide a buy rate.  The break-even point according to several boxing writers was 250,000 for Showtime.  Since it did better, it bodes well for the budget of other upcoming cards. If this is the number (or the rumor), they are in line to do big business with a rematch which almost certainly will exceed this rating.  While it might be convenient to bring up the Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward two act PPV with the second PPV doing less despite a narrow win for Ward, Fury-Wilder is guaranteed to do much better.  This fight was exciting and Fury’s resurrection in round 12 and Wilder’s one punch power will be what’s needed to sell a second fight.

Wilder ($4M), Fury ($3M) set to make career highs in earnings Saturday

December 1, 2018

The huge heavyweight boxing showdown between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder takes place at The Staples Center in Los Angeles Saturday night.  Both headliners will receive the biggest paydays of their careers.

Wilder will make $4 million and Fury will make $3 million as disclosed by the California State Athletic Commission.  According to reports, both men should make more than $10 million when including PPV revenue splits.

In addition, the commission also disclosed the following purses for these fights:

Jarrett Hurd $1,000,000 
Jason Welborn $30,000

Luis Ortiz $375,000 
Travis Kauffman $125,000

Joe Joyce $40,000 
Joe Hanks $50,000

Payout Perspective:

It’s the biggest payout for the careers of Wilder and Fury.  Both fighters are undefeated and they have put on a great show of promoting this fight.  Tonight will be a show of how much people want to see this fight with UFC, Bellator and Showtime Boxing on tonight as well.

« Previous PageNext Page »