GGG draws 1.325M on HBO

April 26, 2016

HBO Boxing featuring Gennady Golovkin facing Dominic Wade drew an average subscriber rating of 1.325M viewers per Sports TV Ratings.  The GGG fight is comparable to his last HBO fight this past May.

The fight drew 758,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo.  The fight preceding GGG-Wade was Roman “Chocolito” Gonzalez soundly defeating McWilliams Arroyo.  The fight drew a rating of 1 million viewers and 537,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo.

GGG Fights on HBO

May 2014 vs. Willie Monroe, Jr. 1.338M viewers (fight only)

November 2013 vs. Curtis Stevens 1.41M viewers (fight only)

July 2104 vs. Daniel Geale 984,000 viewers (overall show drew 758,000)

October 2014 vs. Marco Antonio Rubio 1.3M viewers (fight only)

February 2015 vs. Martin Murray 862,000 viewers (fight only)

Payout Perspective:

It was the second time that Chocolito has appeared as the opening act for GGG on HBO and it appears to be a good formula.  Notwithstanding a poor PPV debut last fall, GGG does well on HBO.  If he does attempt PPV again, one might expect a big-time opponent.

 

Disappointing PPV buy rate for Pacquiao-Bradley III

April 20, 2016

The Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley trilogy did poorly on PPV according to Bob Arum in a report from ESPN’s Dan Rafael.  The Top Rank promoter admits that the PPV did between 400K-500K buys and that the event lost money.

Arum admitted that the April 9th event will be closer to 400K PPV buys than 500K and that the PPV numbers are terrible.

The event will lose money considering Pacquiao was guaranteed $20 million and Bradley $4 million even before considering pay for the rest of the card.  Although the reported purse for Pacquiao was $7 million, he was guaranteed $20 million.

The replay on HBO did a respectable 750,000 network subscribers without an accompanying live fight.

Payout Perspective:

Clearly there was no appeal to this third matchup and Pacquiao’s comments about same sex relationships hurt this event even more.  Similarly, Floyd Mayweather’s September fight against Andre Berto likely was a money loser as well considering the payouts to fighters and a comparable buy rate (400K-500K).  Maybe its best that Pacquiao fade away as his PPV draw has faded.  Of course, this is boxing so we will likely see him this November.

Replay of Pacquiao-Bradley trilogy draws 750K on HBO

April 19, 2016

The HBO replay of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight from April 8th drew 750,000 network subscribers per Sports TV Ratings.

The event drew 347,000 viewers in the Adult 18-49 demo.

The event was marred by Pacquiao’s controversial comments about same sex relationships which cost him his Nike sponsorship.  Notably, Pacquiao still wore Nikes in his fight with Bradley.  It is also worth noting that Bradley, who was a former Nike-sponsored athlete, was not wearing the swoosh for this fight.  In fact, he had Asics shoes in the ring.

The PPV buy rate seems to reflect that most were not interested in this trilogy as Dan Rafael reported that the initial buy rates were between 400K to 500K buys which is similar to the Mayweather-Berto buy rate.

Payout Perspective:

The last Pacquiao replay was in May 2015 which was ran with a live event featuring Canelo Alvarez taking on James Kirkland.  That event drew the best rating on HBO since 2006 as 2.146 million subscribers tuned in to watch the Alvarez-Kirkland fight and over 1 million watched the Pacquiao-Mayweather replay.  Again, there was a lot of sports on Saturday night and the luster was off of this event despite it may being Pacquiao’s “last fight.”

Boxing payouts: Pacquiao – $7M, Bradley $4M

April 8, 2016

Manny Pacquiao will make at least $7 million and Timothy Bradley will make $4 million for their third fight coming this Saturday in Las Vegas.

Kevin Iole posted the purses for Saturday night’s event which will be on HBO PPV.

According to the Las Vegas Journal Review’s Steve Carp, Pacquiao will make $20 million including PPV.

36-year old Arthur Abraham will make $500,000 in his WBO Super Middleweight title defense against Gilberto Ramirez.  The challenger will make $150,000.

Payout Perspective:

Bradley will also make more than the reported $4 million as he will receive a share of the PPV revenue. The question will be how many people will pay $70 to watch this fight.  It appears that HBO has taken the foot off the gas when it comes to promoting this fight since Pacquiao’s controversial comments.  HBO issued a statement about Pacquiao and his comments about homosexuality.  Nike dropped Pacquiao.  There are less mainstream articles about this fight as opposed to Pacquiao’s previous fights taking place in Vegas.  We have not seen a 24/7 series and it seems that only the hardcore boxing fans are interested in this fight.  Would things have been different without Pacquiao’s comments?

Andre Ward draws over 1M on HBO Boxing

March 29, 2016

Andre Ward’s return to the ring Saturday night drew 1.064 million HBO subscribers according to Sports TV Ratings.  Ward defeated Sullivan Barrera by unanimous decision in what many believe is a tune up for bigger fights (i.e. Sergey Kovalev).

HBO Boxing drew 1.064 million from 10:55pm-11:42pm ET on Saturday night.  This included 506,000 in the adult 18-49 demo.  The other fight shown on the broadcast, Joseph Diaz, Jr. defeated Jayson Velez in a featherweight matchup.   That fight drew 756,000 viewers overall and 363,000 in the adult 18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

Ward’s fight did better than Terrence Crawford last month and was the highest-rated program on sports cable Saturday night.  The biggest sporting event Saturday night was the NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional Finals on CBS.  Despite Ward being a polarizing figure, he can be a draw for HBO.

HBO distances itself in statement regarding Pacquiao

March 3, 2016

With a little over a month before Manny Pacquiao’s last fight against Timothy Bradley, HBO has issued a statement which distances itself from Pacquiao’s toxic comments about homosexuals.

Here is the text of the HBO statement regarding Manny Pacquiao:

Next month Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr. are scheduled to meet in a Pay-Per-View bout. We have an obligation to both fighters and, therefore, will proceed to produce and distribute that event. However, we felt it important to leave no uncertainty about our position on Mr. Pacquiao’s recent comments toward the LGBTQ community. We consider them insensitive, offensive and deplorable. HBO has been a proud home to many LGBTQ stories and couldn’t approach this event without clearly voicing our opinion.”

Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, also distanced himself from Pacquiao’s religious views.  Nike, Pacquiao’s long-time sponsor, dropped him immediately after news of his comments were made public.

Payout Perspective:

Pacquiao’s derogatory comments about same sex relationships has hurt the build for this PPV.  It will be interesting to see if HBO does another HBO 24/7 for Pacquiao.  It may hurt Bradley as well since many might bypass this fight and not watch.  HBO made the statement to ensure that it gets its view on Pacquiao’s comments and explain why it is promoting and airing the bout.  This should help quell any potential protests from LGBTQ groups.

Crawford draws 982K on HBO

March 1, 2016

HBO’s Boxing event Saturday night featuring Terrence Crawford drew an average of 982,000 subscribers of the premium network per Sports TV Ratings.

Crawford defeated Hank Lundy to retain his junior welterweight title.  It was Crawford’s first time fighting in New York as he sold-out the Theater at Madison Square Garden.  The Crawford-Lundy event drew 982,000 viewers for the 11:12pm-11:31pm ET time frame in which the fight took place.  The undercard, Felix Verdejo win over Willian Silva drew 886,000 viewers.  The undercard fight aired from 10:13pm-10:52pm ET.

According to Dan Rafael, disclosed salaries had Crawford making $1.21M while the challenger earned $150,000.  Verdejo received $150,000 while Silva received $50,000 per Rafael.

In October, Crawford drew 1.07M subscribers although his live fight against Dierry Jean was coupled with the replay of the GGG-David Lemieux PPV fight from the week before.

In April 2015, Crawford drew 1.004M subscribers on HBO in his fight against Thomas Dulorme.

Payout Perspective:

Saturday night’s ratings is slightly off the pace for Crawford despite thoroughly dissecting Hank Lundy.  It was the first time that Crawford fought in New York and you might expect more from Crawford in the post-Pacquiao era as HBO will look to capitalize on its stable of fighters.

Top Rank survives Haymon’s Motion to Dismiss

January 12, 2016

Top Rank Boxing withstood another motion to dismiss from Al Haymon in the ongoing lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles.  The Honorable John Walter ruled, without oral argument, that Top Rank’s Second Amended Complaint was sufficient enough to survive a motion to dismiss.

A hearing on the motion to dismiss was to be heard on Monday but the court nixed this hearing ruling without the need for oral argument.  Previously, the court had dismissed Top Rank’s lawsuit but allowed it to re-file and amend, which it did.  But, Haymon had filed another motion to dismiss citing that nothing had changed in its amended filing.

Perhaps an ominous sign from Judge Walter for Top Rank was the notion that the arguments set forth in Haymon’s motion to dismiss might be best addressed in a motion for summary judgment.  A summary judgment is a motion brought by a party would dismiss a lawsuit prior to trial due to the fact that one side’s claim(s) that there is no general dispute as to any material fact and the case should be dismissed as a matter of law.  Of course, Judge Walter indicated in his order that he expects both parties to file motions for summary judgment.  The brief order inferred that it while it sided with Haymon’s arguments, the rule of law dictated that Top Rank’s Second Amended Complaint had sufficient information to go forward.

Top Rank sued Al Haymon for alleged violations of antitrust and state laws with respect to Haymon’s PBC promotion which includes its alleged managing and promoting of fighters.

The court opinion indicates that while it was not persuaded that Top Rank had cured all of its deficiencies in its state law claims, it will not entertain any more motions to dismiss.

Order on Motion to Dismiss by JASONCRUZ206

Payout Perspective:

And now we enter the discovery phase of the lawsuit as the court essentially tells the parties they have exhausted all of the motion to dismiss.  Haymon will now have to answer the 105 page Second Amended Complaint.  From there, it will be written discovery and depositions.  We shall see if the elusive Al Haymon will be summoned for deposition.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

2015: The year in Boxing

January 7, 2016

2015 was a big year for boxing.  It featured the start of a new organization, a return to network television, litigation (of course), controversy and the long-awaited fight people waited years to see.

Mayweather-Pacquiao was the dream matchup that came several years too late.  Still, the fight reaped the rewards due the brand names of its participants.  At a $100 pay per view price point, it was guaranteed to compete for the De La Hoya-Mayweather buy mark.  It far exceeded the 2.1 million PPV buys as the unique co-promotion between Showtime and HBO drew 4.4 million PPV buys.  

The gate at the MGM Grand was an enormous $72 million as there were few, if any, comps for this event.  

The fight itself was not exciting at all and widely criticized.  Post-fight, Pacquiao admitted to having a shoulder injury and his camp placed blame on the NAC for not allowing him to take an injection they thought was allowable.

The news of the injured shoulder sparked outrage and litigation as a variety of lawsuits were filed against Pacquiao, HBO, Showtime, Top Rank and almost everyone else in the vicinity.

Mayweather came under scrutiny later in the year as a piece written for SB Nation by Thomas Hauser indicated that the undefeated fighter was allowed a TUE to rehydrate after weigh-ins the Friday before the fight.  The Hauser piece drew the ire of USADA, the third party regulatory body that oversaw the testing for the event.

Mayweather fought one more time in September and announced his retirement.  His fight against Andre Berto drew the lowest PPV buy rate under his Showtime contract.

Bob Arum announced that Manny Pacquiao’s April 2016 fight will be his last.  It was recently announced that he will fight Tim Bradley for the third time.  

Another big event occurring in 2015 was the advent of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).  PBC was all over the networks this year.  It forged deals with SpikeTV, Showtime, NBC Sports Network, Fox, FS1, Bounce TV, ESPN, CBS and NBC.  The return to network television was a big event as it drew 3.13M viewers in March.  In April, it drew  2.9M viewers.  But since the nice starts, the boxing cards rarely make a dent in viewership.

Spike TV also made boxing a part of its “Friday Night Lights Out” promotion which started in March.  Similar to other PBC events, they ratings have decreased since its debut.  

PBC on Spike
Rating Date
869,000 3/13/2015
569,000 4/24/2015
772,000 5/22/2015
446,000 6/12/2015
679,000 8/14/2015
583,000 9/11/2015
315,000 10/16/2015
466,000 11/13/2015
538,000 12/18/2015

The other big business story occurring in boxing in 2015 was the two antitrust lawsuits filed by Top Rank and Golden Boy against Al Haymon and his business partners in federal court in Los Angeles.  The Golden Boy lawsuit (a detailed review here) was filed in May and the Top Rank lawsuit was filed in July.  Both lawsuits are similar in nature as they claim that Al Haymon’s strategy violates antitrust laws.  

An April 2015, a Sports Business Journal article on the finances of PBC may have been a driver toward these lawsuit.  Obviously, one article does not decide whether or not an organization is willing to delve hundreds of thousands of dollars into a lawsuit which may impact the industry of professional boxing, but it did shed light on how Haymon (who is still a very private individual) and how he runs his business.  

The lawsuit is still in its initial stages after several attempts by Haymon to dismiss both lawsuits.  In the Golden Boy lawsuit, he sought a stay of the lawsuit pending the results of an arbitration.  

Haymon did win a motion to dismiss the Top Rank lawsuit this past fall.  However, the court allowed Top Rank to amend its complaint and re-file.  And, a subsequent attempt to dismiss the amended complaint was denied by the court this past Wednesday.

We will see where this lawsuit heads in the coming year.

As for the best of the rest, GGG made his debut as PPV headliner in October and Cotto-Canelo headlined a PPV in November.  GGG drew 150K PPV buys  and Cotto-Canelo drew a reported 900K PPV buys.  

Although Wladmir Klitschko lost his heavyweight title in 2015, he drew the largest rating on HBO for boxing since 2012 when he made a rare New York City title defense this past April.  His upset loss to Tyson Fury drew over 1 million HBO viewers this past November.  

Canelo-Cotto draws 900K PPV buys per HBO

December 3, 2015

HBO reports (via ESPN) that the Canelo Alvarez-Miguel Cotto fight on November 21st in Vegas drew 900,000 PPV buys and about $58 million in domestic PPVs.

The 900,000 PPV buys is promising for HBO as no fight not featuring Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao or Oscar De La Hoya have scored 900,000 buys since 2002 when Lennox Lewis faced Mike Tyson.

The ethnic pride as well as the starworthy fighters were contributing factors for the overwhelming success of the event.

Canelo-Cotto caps off a successful year of boxing PPVs.  Obviously, Mayweather-Pacquiao in May was the king of PPV this (and any other) year with 4.6 million PPV buys.

Payout Perspective:

The PPV ratings are a surprise in my opinion.  While there are strong fan bases for both fighters, 900,000 PPV buys is a big domestic number.  The buy rate also provides evidence that Canelo Alvarez is the future of boxing PPV.  To a lesser extent Cotto is a big-time draw, but with the Mexican backing and only 25 years old, Alvarez looks to be the fighter to take up the torch for Mayweather and Pacquiao.

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