Golden Boy says GGG-Canelo drew more than 1.3M buys

September 28, 2017

Golden Boy Promotions has issued a statement in response to the report that the GGG-Canelo PPV drew 1.3 million pay-per-view buys.  It refutes the report stating that it is “north” of the reported number.

Via Dan Rafael of ESPN:

“While everyone at Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions appreciate the media’s recognition that the fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin was an enormous success, the figure that is being cited by some news outlets is simply inaccurate. Not only are satellite operators and cable companies still in the process of compiling data, that number does not include online PPV sales through RingTV.com, Sony Play Station and Sling TV, which far exceeded any previous fight featuring Canelo or Golovkin. The bottom line is that we expect the final numbers to be well north of current reports, and we will make a decision on reporting those numbers when we know they are accurate.”

Payout Perspective:

From the last sentence, it’s not clear if we will ever see the final PPV buys as Golden Boy states it will “make a decision” regarding reporting the final numbers.  Still, the 1.3 million PPV buys is an overwhelming success and I would think that if the number hits 2 million PPV buys we will hear that information.

GGG-Canelo draw 1.2M PPV buys

September 27, 2017

The LA Times’ Larry Pugmire reports that the GGG-Canelo fight taking place on Saturday, September 16th drew 1.2 million PPV buys.  Chris Mannix of SI has also confirmed the number with industry sources.

The fight ended up in a draw which only means that the two fighters should do it again sooner than later.  For Canelo, it’s his second fight this year in which he has been featured and the PPV has gone over 1 million buys.  His fight against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. this past May drew 1 million PPV buys.

Payout Perspective:

The PPV buys show that GGG-Canelo were not affected by the The Money Fight which took place a couple weeks before.  Thus, the casual boxing fan was willing to purchase this fight regardless of the Mayweather-McGregor fight taking place a couple weeks prior.  The buy rate shows the immense popularity of the fighters especially Canelo who is becoming the PPV boxing king.  GGG has not had great success on PPV prior to this.  But, the two should draw similar numbers for their anticipated rematch.

Court denies World of Boxing’s post-trial motion for new trial in Wilder case

September 27, 2017

The trial court in New York has denied the World of Boxing’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law or in the alternative, a New Trial.  It held that the jury did its job in evaluating the evidence and the credibility of witnesses and based on it was able to produce the jury verdict.

The case arose out of a failed fight between heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin.  MMA Payout has been the only source that has covered this legal case extensively.  You can find some of the background here.

Order by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

You may recall, the sole issue at trial was whether Povetkin ingested Meldonium post January 1, 2016.  When the trial took place in February of this year, the jury did not take long to determine that Povetkin had ingested the drug which was prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency on January 1, 2016.  Attorneys for World of Boxing (Povetkin’s promoters) and Povetkin filed a Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law, or in the alternative a new trial.  Additionally, in June, the attorneys for WOB claimed a new study may give cause for the Court to open the case back up to litigation and/or set up a new trial.

via Wikimedia Commons

via Wikimedia Commons

Judge Andrew Carter of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York determined that World of Boxing’s efforts amounted to an attempt to re-litigate the case.  Judge Carter indicated that the jury made the verdict based on the evidence presented and there was no miscarriage of justice or conclusion not based on evidence.  He opined that WOB was asking to take as truth the testimony of their experts only in coming to a jury verdict.  The Court also determined that the jury based its decision on their impressions of Alexander Povetkin as he was able to testify at trial.  Bluntly, the Court stated in its opinion that the jury flat out did not believe his testimony. Moreover, the new study that was produced by WOB attorneys in June was available online on February 6, 2016, which was the first day of trial.  Yet, it was not brought up at trial.

Payout Perspective:

The Court ruling comes over 8 months after the jury verdict.  The case may not die yet as WOB still has an opportunity to appeal to the 2nd Circuit.  If it does not, the issues of court costs and fees arise.  Also, there is the case of what happens to the money that has/had been in escrow which is one of the forgotten issues here.  In reviewing the case, it appears that the first issue with the handling of the case was the agreement to limit the case to just one issue regarding the use of Meldonium.  The carrot of having a shorter discovery schedule and a trial date sooner than later was likely a reason why the parties decided.  However, as we saw, the case involved issues related to the late production of discovery and experts.

The litigation was marred by contentious behavior as the order included a sentence about the parties’ behavior stating, “The Court takes exception to the behavior of both parties throughout the pendency of this litigation.  The parties are once again ordered to proceed with civility and in conformance with the Court’s local rules.”

MMA Payout will have more on this as it comes down.

 

 

GGG-Canelo replay on HBO draws 726,000 viewers

September 26, 2017

HBO’s Boxing telecast which included a replay of the GGG-Canelo fight drew 726,000 viewers via Nielsen.  The live fight of the telecast drew 687,000 viewers.

Saturday night’s event which replayed GGG-Canelo peaked at 840,000 viewers and drew 0.24 in the A18-49 demo.

The fight between Jorge Linares and Luke Campbell peaked at 726,000 viewers and drew 0.23 in the A18-49 demo.  Linares won via split decision.

Canelo PPV replays on HBO:

Canelo-JCC, Jr:  769,000

Canelo-Khan:  767,000

Canelo-Smith: 459,000

Canelo-Cotto:  901,000

Payout Perspective:

Despite the hype for this fight it is only third on the above list in terms of replay viewership.  This is surprising considering the draw and how most thought this

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Friday night draws 706,000 viewers

September 25, 2017

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Friday night drew 706,000 viewers on ESPN according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event featured title defenses by Oscar Valdez and Gilbert Ramirez.

The ratings for the event are the best thus far for Friday night boxing on ESPN since the agreements with Golden Boy and Top Rank went into place earlier this year.

The Valdez-Genesis Servania ended the night of fights which started at 11:42pm ET.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are promising as these Friday night fights are used to promote up and coming fighters.  Those that tuned in to see Valdez-Servania saw a great action-packed fight.  Notably, Top Rank Boxing did much better than the UFC on FXX Friday night which drew just 502,000 viewers for its main card and 416,000 for the prelims.

Appeal to 9th Circuit for plaintiffs that felt duped from Pac-May fight

September 20, 2017

Late last month, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed the class action lawsuit by plaintiffs claiming that they were duped by the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight in May 2015 due to the fact Pacquiao did not disclose a previous shoulder injury.

Despite the order dismissing the case, the plaintiffs have filed an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  But first, let’s look at the facts and the district court opinion.

Order Dismissing Pacquiao-Mayweather Boxing Match PPV Litigation by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

As we know, Manny Pacquiao faced Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Mayweather won via unanimous decision.  After the fight, Pacquiao indicated that he had an injury.  However, the facts would suggest that this was never disclosed prior to the fight.  In fact, on his pre-fight questionnaire, he did not indicate an issue with his shoulder.

Many believed that the injured shoulder was a factor in the outcome of the fight.  Those that paid for the fight on PPV ($100), bought a seat at the venue or watched on closed circuit or in a movie theatre were angered that they did not see the best Pacquiao and/or the injury was not disclosed.  Obviously, something like this has a trickle-down impact to the consumer but also to those that placed money on the fight.

Lawsuits were filed as a result and were subsequently consolidated to this court.  Plaintiffs allege that “Defendants were motivated by huge profits” to continue with the fight despite the alleged injury.  They claim that they affirmatively concealed the injury in promotion of the fight.

Attorneys for Pacquiao, Mayweather, Top Rank, Mayweather Promotions, and its related entitites filed a Motion to Dismiss the lawsuits.  On August 25th, the district court agreed with the defendants that this lawsuit should be dismissed.

The opinion emphasized that the legal system is not the proper place for unhappy fans to vent their anger over a result of a sporting event.  The court made a determination as to whether to determine the complaints per a “license approach “to assess the rights of fans that purchase a ticket to a sporting event.  Under this approach, purchasers are entitled to “nothing more than a revocable license” regardless of what transpires at the event.  However, the court noted that this specific issue was a novel occurrence and it had to determine whether it should apply this standard.

The court did cite to a ticketholder/PPV purchaser case from 2000 where Mike Tyson was sued after a fight between Tyson and Evander Holyfield.  You may recall that this was the bout where Tyson infamously bit Holyfield’s ear.  Plaintiffs in that case claimed that Tyson’s plan was to get disqualified if he could not win and this was a “premediated plan” to end the fight.  In that case, the plaintiffs’ lawsuit was dismissed and the appeal upheld the dismissal rationalizing that fans got what they paid for.

In addition to the “license approach,” the opinion discusses a set of cases which do not use the theory.  Instead, this line of cases have had plaintiffs assert their legal rights when sports teams allegedly lie to promote ticket sales.  Two lawsuits involve professional teams that were moving but did not tell their fan base and one case in which a team stated it was financially able to finish a hockey season but folded 13 games into the season.

So, the court determined which of these approaches it should take.  Either the “License approach” cases which resulted in no legally cognizable injury or the lawsuits against sports teams which reflects a legally cognizable injury.

The court found the “License approach” was the correct application since the alleged omissions and misrepresentations were based on athletic competition (i.e, concealing Pacquiao’s injury).

From the opinion:

The Court holds that a misrepresentation or omission implicates the core of athletic competition, and therefore does not constitute a cognizable injury to a legally protected interest under the license approach, if it is related to: (A) competitive strategy, or (B) the quality or outcome of competitive performance.

It’s also noteworthy that the court argues public policy as to why it ruled against the Plaintiffs here:

Thus, allowing sports fans to sue over the vicissitudes of competitive sports could destroy the
very thing that makes sports fandom so special. A holding in favor of Plaintiffs in this case could be construed to require near total transparency in sports, whereby any inflated, unreliable, or cryptic prevent statements would beget lawsuits. Gone would be the days of headstrong athletes declaring their complete readiness to destroy their opponents. Athletes would never again publicly predict that they will prevail, or even conclude that an event will be exciting. Sports teams and athletes might even be required to disclose the weak spots in their game plans or preparations before every event for all to see (including their opponents).

The judicial opinion is highlighted by a cite to a Joe Rogan podcast related to the uncertainty of sports.  The court commented that the “unpredictability and uncertainty” of competitive sports is important to it.  The point is that the unexpected nature of sport is inherent in sport and expected by fans.

Payout Perspective:

At first read, you wonder why Plaintiffs have decided to appeal this case to the 9th Circuit.  There’s a lot of money that goes into an appeal and the success rate seems in doubt.  However, if you read the opinion closely, you can tell that the district court is making up their own law as they go.  Perhaps that’s a little strong, but they are definitely applying a legal standard they feel is right for this circumstance.  While the “license approach” has been used to decide cases in disgruntled fan lawsuits in the past, there is no real precedent setting case (as the court notes in the opinion).  Thus there’s a line of cases which could be helpful to Plaintiffs but is not applied.  Moreover, the public policy as argued by the Court gives us the old “slippery slope” argument which I personally take offense.  Even if you think that this is ridiculous to follower, there is a telling piece of law here that may be more important than whether someone gets their $100 back.

 

Byrd still set for UFC 216

September 18, 2017

Coming off of a controversial scorecard in the main event of the GGG-Canelo Alvarez fight on Saturday, NAC head Bob Bennett has stated he has yet to make a decision as to if she will be removed from the upcoming UFC 216 card in Vegas October 7th.

Byrd scored the big fight in Vegas 118-110 for Canelo Alvarez, while Judge Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for GGG and judge Don Trella scored it a 114-144 draw.

Byrd’s lopsided scores which gave Canelo 10 rounds to GGG’s 2 is contrasted with the overarching popular belief that GGG was the aggressor in most rounds and won more than 2 rounds in the fight.

In addition to boxing, Byrd has judged UFC cards in the past.

There were conflicting reports as to whether or not Byrd had been relieved of her anticipated duties for the UFC event but Bennett indicated to MMA Fighting that she was not taken off the card.

Payout Perspective:

Adelaide Byrd received over 1 million google searches on Saturday night due to her scorecard.  In an otherwise “Fight of the Year” candidate, her score which did not compare with the other two scorecards which reflected a close, competitive fight was the hot button issue.  Judging in combat sports can be one of the more controversial parts of this sports and it highlights the subjective nature of being a judge.  Obviously, any fight she will judge in the near future will be scrutinized more than others.

Rungvisai-Chocolatito draw 796,000 on HBO

September 15, 2017

HBO Boxing After Dark this past Saturday drew 796,000 viewers for the main event featuring the rematch of Sor Rungvisai and Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez.

The event featured 3 fights on the telecast and ran opposite UFC 215 this past Saturday.  The event was dubbed, “Superfly,” since it featured super flyweights on Saturday event.

The main event pitted the rematch in which Rungvisai knocked out Chocolatito in the fourth round of their super flyweight championship.  The peak occurred during their fight and scored 835,000 viewers.

The co-main event of the evening featured Japan’s Naoya Inoue defeating Antonio Nieves.  Inoue, perhaps the next challenger to Rungvisai, defeated Nieves after the banker featured in the Wall Street Journal the same day, did not come out for round 7.  The event drew 735,000 viewers and peaked at 770,000.

In the first fight of the evening, Juan Francisco Estrada defeated Carlos Cuardras.  The fight drew 608,000 viewers with a peak of 714,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Very good ratings for the main event considering that this telecast focused on fights in some of the smallest weight divisions in boxing.  Many people had heard or saw the first fight between Rungvisai and Chocolatito and wanted to see they could match the action of their first fight.  It did not go to a decision but fans should have been impressed with Rungvisai’s stoppage of Gonzalez.

Canelo-GGG PPV will cost you $79.99

September 15, 2017

For those getting ready to watch GGG versus Canelo Alvarez this Saturday, you will have to pay a premium if ordering on PPV as the suggested retail price point will be $79.99 HD.

The premium price is more than the usual $64.95-$69.99 PPV boxing event.  Coming off of last month’s Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather fight, which cost $99.95, the question of whether that fight would impact this fight was a relevant question.

Certainly, “Supremacy,” as the fight is billed, is a fight that diehard boxing fans have been waiting for, but will casuals dip into their pocketbooks less than a month later to pay another $80 for a PPV?

The PPV buys for The Money Fight have not been made official but the conclusion is that despite the $100 price point, it drew between 4 and 5 million buys.  We aren’t looking at that buy rate for this event, but this has been a fight in the making with two of the biggest-named boxers in the sport today.

Last spring, Canelo’s last PPV appearance against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. drew 1 million PPV buys.

It would not be out of the realm of possibility for this fight to do the same due to the budding star that is Canelo, the strong Mexican boxing fan base and GGG.  The only concern would be the casual combat sports fan that may have bought The Money Fight and cannot think about paying more for this fight.

Of course, this excess spending on PPVs may have hurt UFC 215, which was sandwiched between the two.  Even with the UFC’s normal PPV price of $59.99, some fans may have sat last week out in order to watch the two boxing events.

Mayweather-McGregor replay on Showtime draws 549,000

September 6, 2017

The replay of The Money Fight on Showtime this past Saturday drew 549,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  In addition, an epilogue of All Access which followed immediately after drew 291,000 viewers.

The Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather fight drew 549,000 Showtime subscribers and 0.15 in the A18-49 demo for the 42 minutes it aired on the network starting at 9:23pm ET.  It was a stand-alone presentation as it was not coupled with any live fights.

Previous PPV replays of note:

Mayweather-Pacquiao:  1.18M on HBO (coupled with Canelo-Kirkland)

Canelo-Chavez, Jr.:  769,000 on HBO

Canelo-Smith:  459,000 on HBO

Canelo-Khan:  767,000 on HBO

Canelo-Cotto:  901,000 on HBO

Mayweather-Berto:  587,000 on Showtime

Payout Perspective:

Maybe everyone saw the fight the previous Saturday or the opening weekend of college football detracted from the viewership.  The Labor Day Weekend likely took away some of the network subscribers from the ratings.  In comparison, the Mayweather-Pacquiao replay drew almost double the viewership although it was coupled with the live event of Canelo-Kirkland.  You might recall that event drew the best boxing ratings on HBO since 2006.

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