Fury tops payout for Saturday’s Top Rank event

June 18, 2019

MMA Payout has obtained the full roster of salaries from the Nevada Athletic Commission from Saturday’s Top Rank promoted event featuring Tyson Fury at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Tyson Fury’s reported salary was $1 million although its been known that he’s receiving around $12.5 million for the fight.  According to the NAC paysheet, he’s paying $300,000 to the IRS as well as a $25,000 sanctioning fee. Fury also paid incidentals which equated to him taking home $673,428.  His opponent Tom Schwarz received $250,000 for the fight.  He paid $75,000 to the IRS and $7,500 in sanction fees for a take home of $167,450.

The rest of the roster payout from Saturday’s event are as follows:

Jesse Hart:  $150,000

Sullivan Barrerra:  $125,000

 

Mikaela Meyer: $20,000

Lizbeth Crespo: $10,000

 

Andy Vences: $20,000

Albert Bell:  $20,000

 

Isaac Lowe: $20,000

Duam Vue:  $20,000

 

Cem Kilic:  $4,000

Martez McGregor:  $5,000

 

Guido Vianello: $10,000

Keenan Hickman: $4,000

 

Peter Kadiru: $1,000

Juan A. Torres: $4,000

 

Sonny Conto:  $4,000

Daniel Infante:  $3,000

Payout Perspective:

The disparity in salaries from the top of the card to the mid-tier fighters to the starters is glaring.  One boxer just made $1,000 on the card in which Fury will reportedly making $12 million.   Fury did pay the most in sanctioning fees and to the IRS.

Fury-Schwarz Prelims on ESPN2 draw 493,000 viewers

June 18, 2019

The undercard for the Top Rank Boxing event this past Saturday night on ESPN2 drew 493,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The telecast preceded the main card for the Fury-Schwarz fight.

The event drew 143,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.32 share overall.

The undercard featured several fights including Junior lightweight Mikaela Mayer’s win over Lizbeth Crespo and Albert Belll’s win over Andy Vences.

On the main card, Jesse Hart scored a victory over Sullivan Barrera in a mild upset in a light heavyweight contender matchup.  The main card was featured on ESPN+.

Payout Perspective:

The prelims began at 4pm west coast time so the 493,000 viewers is a pretty decent turnout for boxing on ESPN2.  According to Jake Donovan, it outperformed every 2019 PBC Show on FS1 except for one and every Showtime card except for last month’s Wilder-Breazeale fight.  The ratings could go to the draw of the heavyweight matchups and/or the character that is Tyson Fury because the fight itself was anticlimactic and not competitive.

Top Rank Boxing draws 799,000 viewers on ESPN Saturday

June 11, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 799,000 viewers Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event drew 314,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The telecast, which featured Oscar Valdez defeating Jason Sanchez to retain his featherweight title drew a 0.56 share.

The event came after the UFC 238 Prelims which drew 964,000 viewers.  It drew 489,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.63 share.

Payout Perspective:

Based on the bare numbers, the numbers reflect little drop off from the UFC as a lead-in.  Certainly, you have little crossover audience although the hope for the UFC and the network is that those that watched the prelims buy the PPV on ESPN+ but if they didn’t, tune into boxing.  The viewership numbers for Top Rank are promising considering there was a self-imposed competition with MMA on Saturday night.

UFC 237 Prelims draw 813,000 viewers as lead-in for Top Rank Boxing which drew 740,000

May 14, 2019

The UFC 237 PPV Prelims on ESPN drew 813,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured BJ Penn-Clay Guida at the top of the telecast and ended with Ryan Spann’s KO of Antonio Rogerio Nogueria.  UFC 237 took place at Rio de Janeiro Brazil.

The event drew 425,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.53 share.

It’s interesting to note that the UFC served as the lead-in to Top Rank Boxing on ESPN which drew 740,000 viewers and 354,000 in the A18-49 demo.  The event from Tucson, Arizona featured Miguel Berchelt as he took on Francisco Vargas.

Payout Perspective:

It was a busy night of combat sports and its interesting to see that the viewing audience really stayed on the channel as there was little dropoff from the UFC as the ‘lead-in’ into Top Rank Boxing which lost out on less than 100,000 viewers.

Main event fighters draw hefty purses for Saturday’s Top Rank event on ESPN

May 7, 2019

MMA Payout has obtained the Payoff Sheet from the California State Athletic Commission from Saturday night’s event at the Stockton Arena promoted by Top Rank Boxing.

The event featured Artur Beterbiev as he defeated Radivoje Kalajdzic. Beterbiev earned $850,000 while Kalajdzic made $200,000.  After $314,500 miscellaneous fee and a $25,500 sanction that was not explained, Beterbiev netted $509,400.  Similarly, Kalajdzic received a sanction of $6,000 and an advance of $5,000 and another $500 for gloves.  After these and other miscellaneous deductions, he netted $181,000.

The rest of the payouts are as follows:

Jersin Ancajas:  $90,000

Ryuchi Funai:  $20,000

Gabriel Flores, Jr.:  $7,500

Eduardo Pereira dos Reis:   $6,000

Jesus Algandar Godlinez:  $2,000

Marco Antonio Arroyo:  $1,500

Vincent Jennings:  $6,000

Vislan Dalkhaev:  $6,000

Carlos Rodriguez:  $8,000

Brian Mendoza:  $10,000

Mario Aguilar:  $2,000

Felix Valera:  $30,000

Osbaldo Camacho Gonzales:  $4,000

Quillisto Madera:  $3,000

Joey Montoya: $5,500

Blake McKernan:  $800

The $850,000 purse for the IBF light heavyweight titleholder gives pause to many casual fans considering his fight was the second lowest-rated Top Rank on ESPN event this year. Obviously, opposite Canelo-Jacobs, this televised event was going to be a tough sell. Still, the main eventers received top payouts which rival most top-tier UFC fighters but past the semi-main event, the salaries resemble more of a UFC card.  It is interesting to look at the differing ways MMA and Boxing pay their respective independent contractors.

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN draws 480K viewers opposite Canelo-Jacobs

May 7, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 480,000 viewers Saturday night for the event in Stockton, California.  It also drew 166,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The event featured Artur Beterbiev as he defeated Radivoje Kalajdzic.  The opener for the telecast saw a slugfest between Jerwin Ancajas as he stopped Ryuichi Funai.  In addition, Gabriel Flores, Jr. defeated Eduardo Pereira dos Reis.

The ratings are the second lowest for Top Rank Boxing and ESPN since the two began its working relationship in 2017.

Payout Perspective:

It’s hard not to think that most boxing fans were watching the Canelo-Jacobs fight on DAZN.  While the event from Stockton showed the best from its featured fighters, it had the unfortunate scheduling conflict of one of the biggest fights this year.

Ratings for Top Rank, PBC and NCAA Wrestling this weekend

March 26, 2019

This weekend’s boxing event took a step back from the last couple of weeks as events for Top Rank on ESPN and PBC on FS1 were flat likely overshadowed by the NCAA Tournament.

On Saturday night, Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 469,000 viewers and 150,000 in the A18-49 demo per Nielsen via ShowBuzz.  The event featured Kubrat Pulev as he defeated Bogdan Dinu via KO in the 7th round.  There were two fights on the telecast which aired Saturday night.

Sunday afternoon, PBC on FS1 took place with a fight between Lamont Petersen and Sergey Lipinets.  The Kazakhstani Russian stopped Petersen who then announced his retirement from boxing.  The event drew 374,000 viewers and only 74,000 in the A18-49 demo.

On another note, College Wrestling on ESPN drew 312,000/128,000 A18-49 Thursday (7:00pm), 407,000/147,000 A18-49 Friday night (8:00pm start), 625,000/245,000 A18-49 Saturday night (7:00pm EST start) for the NCAA Mat Madness showdown.

Payout Perspective:

This weekend sports programs were likely overshadowed by the NCAA Tournament which started for both the men’s and women’s brackets.  The opening rounds usually garner a lot of viewership which likely meant that most other sports took backseats to them.  The PBC on FS1 event is somewhat low for a name like Petersen, but with a late afternoon/early evening start it competed with NCAA games.

Disgruntled May-Pac fans get oral argument in appeals court

March 12, 2019

On March 7th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in the appeal of the lawsuit brought by plaintiffs that purchased the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao in May 2015.  The case was dismissed but appealed by the plaintiffs.

The underlying facts of the lawsuit brought by multiple individuals and consolidated into one case claim that they were victims of fraud when they purchased tickets and/or PPV for the fight without the knowledge that Pacquiao had an injured shoulder.  The details of the dismissal of the lawsuit were covered by MPO this past September.

Three parties representing the plaintiffs, the defendants including HBO and Showtime and separate counsel for defendant Floyd Mayweather and his company argued their briefs before the Night Circuit.

The appeal came down to two differing theories.  Plaintiffs viewpoint that the case is a consumer protection action where fans were duped into thinking that they were purchasing tickets and/or a $100 PPV to watch a healthy Paquiao and Mayweather.  But it was not revealed that Pacquiao was fighting with a significant injury.  As a result, consumers were taken advantage of by the promoters and those with business interests tied to the event.  Plaintiffs, in part, infer that the defendants were not going to cancel or postpone the event regardless of Pacquiao’s condition.

Defendants maintain the District Court ruling and uphold the ruling that the case is premised upon a revocable license.  The fans paid for what they received and despite the fact that they did not get the fight they wanted, they received the fight that they paid for.

The appellate court seemed to probe the question of whether Charpentier could be distinguished from this case based on the business-side of sports.  Charpentier was premised upon the fact that in the mid-1990s the Los Angeles Rams franchise was leaving for St. Louis, and despite its knowledge that it would, stated that it was staying.  While in Pacquiao, he indicated that he felt fine going into the fight, Mayweather asserted he knew everything within his opponent’s camp yet did not speak about a shoulder injury pre or post-fight.  HBO and Showtime did not claim to know about a pre-existing injury and promoted the fight as the Fight of the Century  It believed it to be so big that it set the ticket prices and PPV price point at astronomical prices.

Hart Robinovitch, arguing on behalf of the plaintiffs, stressed that facts were intentionally concealed from consumers set against the backdrop upon quotes from commentators inferring that the fight less that what was expected.  He portrayed the plaintiffs as the little guy that paid big prices for the event.

The Court asked about where the line might be drawn on a failure to disclose theory, here the omission of Pacquiao’s injury, where it is common that athletes play with injuries at all times.  Plaintiffs argued that the failure to disclose Pacquiao’s injury was material to this case.  Notably, Pacquiao did not publicly disclose the injury until 30 minutes into the PPV based on his request to the commission for a pain reliever for his shoulder. The Court grilled Robinivitch on the claim that Pacquiao omitted any claim of injury prior to the fight.  But, premised upon the omission, there must be a duty to disclose.  The Court also asked about “puffery” claims made by athletes (i.e., “I feel great,”) and whether something like this would give rise to a claim.

Plaintiffs argue that the license approach is premised on a contract claim, which differs from what it is arguing here.

They claim that the district court erred when it did not interpret Plaintiffs claim that Pacquiao concealed his injury for the sole business reason of making money.  Plaintiffs argue that there is a material fact, which cannot be dismissed on a Motion to Dismiss stage.

During oral arguments, Plaintiffs stressed the Charpentier case which was central to its case.  The case was brought by Los Angeles Rams season ticket holders that claimed the franchise publicly denied moving while concealing material facts that its intention was to move.   The court in that case stated, “Defendant knew these statements were false, but defendant made them purely to maintain and manipulate the sales of tickets.”  In that lawsuit, the court dismissed the contract-based claims but maintained the plaintiffs’ fraud claim.  The distinction is important when set upon the footprint of the Pacquiao case because plaintiffs argue that the material misrepresentation of Pacquiao’s injury in addition to the affirmations that he was fine is sufficient for this case to go forward.

While the question of disclosing an athlete’s injury is a debatable question, Plaintiffs cited the NFL’s policy of injury reports which discloses the nature and reason a player does not practice in the week prior to the game.  It notes this as an example of an affirmative

Daniel Petrocelli represented the defendants except the Mayweather defendants.  He argued that there are reasons why an athlete’s private health information is not disclosed.  First, there is a right to privacy issue regarding health issues.  Second, there should not be an expectation to know an up-to-date status of an athlete’s physical condition.  Finally, its common knowledge that boxers do fight with injuries.

The Court questioned Petrocelli if whether there are cases where there are material misrepresentations or omissions that give rise to a consumer claim.  But, Petrocelli argued that the cases are segmented between off the field business cases versus athletic case.  He argued Charpentier was based on the misrepresentation of the business aspect of sport and differed from Pacquiao’s shoulder.  He claimed that the case was extrinsic to the case and this was where the line can be drawn.  He gave the example of an announcement that a team had signed LeBron James and consumers made purchases based on the representation but in actuality it was another individual, not the famous basketball player.  In that instance, would there be an issue regarding a material misrepresentation.

While the Court did not side with either about the ultimate question of the veracity of the case, it did question Petrocelli if there were material facts about the omission of Pacquiao’s injury with respect to whether or not consumers were defrauded.

Mark Tratos, the attorney for Defendants representing Manny Pacquiao, Bob Arum, Todd duBoef, Top Rank, Inc. and HBO argued that the district court correctly dismissed the lawsuit arguing that the license approach applied.  They also claimed that there is no carve-out exception to the license approach where there is a fraudulent inducement to purchase an event.

Notably, the Defendants argued an alternative scenario in which Pacquiao was cleared by the Nevada State Athletic Commission which would relieve any liability on behalf of the defendants since a third party allowed the fight to occur.  This would place some level of liability on the commission.

During oral arguments, Tratos argued a floodgates of litigation scenario if there is a duty of a fighter to disclose an opponent injury.  The implication here would be that it would be implausible for a fighter to know whether or not there is a pre-fight injury of an opponent.  But there would be hundreds of lawsuits filed if there was an affirmative duty for a fighter to know another’s injury.

Payout Perspective:

One can expect an opinion in this case later this year.  If the court were to side with Plaintiffs, it would go back to the district court and continue as the lawsuit was dismissed just at the pleading stage.  If it sides with the defendants, the case would likely go away.  While most from the outside would see this as an easy case to decide in favor of the defendants, it brings up interesting theories with respect to consumer fraud.

Plaintiffs claim that there are material facts that would overcome a motion to dismiss the case purely on the filed lawsuit.  This is the initial goal of the Plaintiffs. Will this actual happen?  It would be surprising.  The Court seemed to wrestle with the necessity of disclosing an athlete’s injury prior to an event.  While Plaintiffs attempt to carve out the analytical argument that Pacquiao’s omission of disclosing the injury to generate sales as a business reason which would buttress its fraud claim, defendants argue that this is purely athletic strategy.  Defendants note that consumers are only entitled to watch an event and cannot dictate if its exciting or not.  It stresses that Pacquiao fought all 12 rounds and even won certain rounds based on the scorecards.  The cases argued before the court are carved out between a license approach (fans entitled to watch an event and nothing more) and those which follow the Los Angeles Rams case (Charpentier) where the court allowed a fraud claim when the Rams misrepresented that it would not move but did.  It does seem that the case will be decided upon whether there is a belief that there are material facts to determine whether the defendants had a duty to disclose the alleged injury.

The Court will be setting a new precedent when it decides this case as it will guide future lawsuits where sports fans feel duped by sports teams and/or events.

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (2/15) outshines Bellator on Friday night

February 19, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN on February 15th drew 704,000 viewers per Nielsen according to ShowBuzz Daily.  The event featured Rob Brant as he scored an 11th round KO over the previously undefeated Khasan Bayasangurov.

The telecast peaked at 769,000 viewers and was likely aided by the lead-in of the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

Live Boxing on ESPN 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (2/2):  880,000 viewers

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (2/10):  655,000 viewers

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (2/15) 704,000 viewers

Payout Perspective:

As we noted with the Bellator post, the ratings for Top Rank on ESPN Friday night well-exceeded its MMA competition on the Paramount Network.  As stated, the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game helped as a lead-in.  Of course, being on the main ESPN network also helps with just many having the network on as habit.

Fury signs with Top Rank putting Wilder rematch in doubt

February 18, 2019

Undefeated lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has inked a co-promotional deal with Top Rank which will allow him to appear on the ESPN network. The question becomes what will happen to a much-anticipated rematch with Premier Boxing Champions and World Boxing Council champion Deontay Wilder.

The Fury-Wilder rematch was reportedly close to fruition, but with the new wrinkle of Fury signing with a rival promotion and network, the fight may be on hold.  The December 1, 2018 fight between Wilder and Fury occurred on Showtime Boxing’s PPV.

The news now has put a damper on the possible rematch with Deontay Wilder which ended in a draw.  The fight was highlighted by Fury going down to a vicious shot from Wilder in the final round only for him to rise from the blow to finish the round.

Payout Perspective:

Fury’s signing is another indicator of the splintering of combat sports.  Unless the sides can agree to a deal to pit the top two heavyweights in boxing, the sport will once again fall victim to promoters carving out their territory.  Can the sides come to a deal?  Of course, but it undoubtedly puts the rematch on the back burner.

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