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.

White states The Money Fight drew 6.5 million buys

August 31, 2017

6.5 million buys.  This is the amount that Dana White state’s this past Saturday’s Mayweather-McGregor bout.

White stated this while talking to Urijah Faber and Snoop Dogg on Tuesday.  The amount is thought to be a worldwide total and not just limited to North America.  No official announcement had been made by Showtime or Zuffa.

The Los Angeles Times indicated that it should surpass the record 4.6 million buys by Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in 2015 although it was too early to tell.

Payout Perspective:

All signs point to this fight breaking the record.  The Prelims on Fox, which did not have any boxer of note, peaked at 3.1 million viewers and averaged 2.438M viewers.  There were over 10 million searches for “MayweatherVsMcgregor Fight” and “Mayweather” on Saturday night which would suggest that this fight was widely sought after.  6.5 million seems like a worldwide number which would directly correlate with a lofty number of those coming from Europe and Ireland.  The official estimates are said to come out later today.

Mayweather-McGregor Prelims peak at 3.1M and other ratings

August 30, 2017

Nielsen has provided some additional ratings from this past weekend’s Mayweather-McGregor fight.  Notably, the prelims drew 2,568,000 viewers across Fox, Fox Deportes and Fox Sports Go.  The show peaked at 3,110,000 viewers.

The Prelims on Fox drew 2,438,000 from 7-9pm ET.  In the A18-49 category, it drew 1,156,000 viewers and was up over 150% versus the average to date for Fox boxing telecasts.

The first prelim bout on the show drew 2,360,000 viewers.  The show peaked at 3,110,000 from the 8:45-9pm ET quarter hour.  This was during the welterweight fight between Yordenis Ugas and Thomas Dulorme.  Ugas defeated Dulorme.

Other ratings from the telecasts associated with The Money Fight include:

  • Mayweather-McGregor Prefight Show 1,463,000
  • Mayweather-McGregor Postfight Show 368,000
  • Mayweather-McGregor Weigh-In 287,000
  • PBC on FS1 drew 269,000 viewers on Friday night.

Also, a replay of All Access Mayweather/McGregor on FS1 drew 215,000 viewres.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings reflect the immense popularity of The Money Fight.  Ratings were up across the board for the Prelims as well as the pre/post and weigh-in shows.  Despite the technical issues, the marketing and promotion of the fight had people buzzing to watch this fight.

UFC and Showtime face issuing refunds after technical difficulties for Mayweather-McGregor

August 29, 2017

After The Money Fight technical difficulty situation, the UFC and vendor NeuLion must determine how to address the situation.

A lawsuit has been filed related to the technical difficulties which angered many that paid $99.95 to watch the much-hyped Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight.

ESPN reports that Showtime has issued a “limited number” of refunds to those that complained, but only for its direct-to-consumer offerings which include its streaming and app product.  Notably, the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Oregon relates to its lead plaintiff purchasing the PPV on the Showtime App.  He claimed the event was “grainy” buffered and stalled.

The fight was delayed 20 minutes to accommodate for the technical difficulties but those paying $99.95 were shut out of the telecast.  According to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the PPV issues “appeared to come from a surge of late purchase and connectivity issues.”

The UFC issued a statement via Darren Rovell:

After this statement, it has now indicated that it is reviewing PPV Fight Pass refunds on a “case-by-case” basis.

Payout Perspective:

This is as much a public relations issues as it will eventually be a legal issue.  One might understand the UFC would not want to issue blanket refunds but if the technical difficulties occurred from UFC Fight Pass subscribers that made the additional purchase, you’d have to think that at least a credit to the account is necessary.  For Showtime, it is issuing refunds but is also “passing the buck” in referring those that made the PPV purchase through a cable or satellite company to speak with them.  You have to think that UFC is pointing to NeuLion to indemnify them from any potential issues and/or seek reimbursement for any refunds that they may have to issue.  The bottom line is the concern of how much this will affect the bottom line for the UFC and Showtime.

Report: UFC 214 draws 850,000 PPV buys

August 7, 2017

ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that the UFC 214 held July 29th featuring Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier drew 850,000 PPV buys per sources.  The number includes US, Canada, Australia and digital platforms like UFC.TV.

The 850,000 PPV buys bests Jones-Cormier I at UFC 182 in January 2015.  UFC 182 drew 800,000 on PPV.

UFC 214 is the best buy rate since Ronda Rousey’s return against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in December 2016.  The first round stoppage of Rousey by Nunes drew 1.1 million buys.

UFC 214 also featured Tyron Woodley defending his welterweight title against Demian Maia and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino winning the Women’s Featherweight title from Tonya Evinger.

Payout Perspective:

Despite the fact that Dana White indicated that the PPV was tracking 1 million PPV buys, 850,000 is a very good number.  While the cynic may claim that it took 3 title fights and a very good Lawler-Cerrone fight to reel in 850,000 buys, the event has to be considered a positive for the new owners.  The first half of 2017 has been sluggish in PPV sales and this event helped create some momentum for the rest of the year.  It also brings up a question as to whether Jon Jones is a major draw or was it the rivalry that stoked fans to purchase the PPV.

UFC 213 and Bellator NYC underwhelm in PPV returns

July 20, 2017

MMA Fighting reports the estimated buy rates for UFC 213 and Bellator NYC.  Both shows did not do well with each not getting close to 200,000 PPV buys.

UFC 213 earlier this month drew in the range between 125-150,000 PPV buys.  Due to a late scratch by Amanda Nunes, the main event was Robert Whittaker taking on Yoel Romero for the interim middleweight title.  Initially, the hope was that this show would be headlined by Georges St. Pierre-Michael Bisping and Cody Garbrandt defending his bantamweight title against T.J. Dillashaw.  Both fights were scratched leaving Nunes to defend against Valentina Shevchenko.

Bellator NYC, which took place late last month and featured Chael Sonnen taking on Wanderlei Silva drew in the 90-130,000 PPV buy range.  Bellator’s previous PPV in 2014 drew 100,000 buys.

Payout Perspective:

For those wondering, according to sources that I have been in touch with UFC 212 (Aldo-Holloway) did better than UFC 213 but only slightly.  The buy rate for UFC 213 is not surprising after the card fell apart although I would have expected it to hit 200,000 PPV buys.  Based on the number of google searches and the ratings from Bellator 180 which preceded the event, the buy rate was expected.  However, it sounds that Bellator is looking to continue to explore more PPV shows.

Mayweather-McGregor Press Conference in LA draws 124,000 viewers on FS2

July 12, 2017

Tuesday’s Mayweather-McGregor Press Conference on FS2 drew 124,000 live viewers according to Nielsen.  A re-air of the World Tour on FS1 drew 133,000 viewers.

The launch of the World Tour at the Staples Center in Los Angeles aired live on FS2 at 2:30pm.  It peaked with 176,000 viewers.  The re-air on FS1 at 8:00pm peaked with 166,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Getting 124,000 viewers to tune in live, not to mention those watching online via Showtime, is extraordinary considering a large portion of the time was spent waiting for the two to get on stage.  The viewership is a sign that people are engaged with this tour and know that McGregor is a showman that can promote.  Will this translate into PPV buys?  We shall see.

$99.95 HD price tag for Mayweather-McGregor

July 10, 2017

$99.95.  That will be the HD cost for purchasing the April 26th Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor.

In SD, the price of the Showtime PPV will be $89.95.  Showtime spokesperson Madelyn Flax told USA Today Sports on Monday.

It will be the second time that a combat sports PPV will cost $99.95.  We all know that the May 2015 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather cost $99.95 HD.

Payout Perspective:

The $100 (we’re rounding up by 5 cents) PPV was almost expected.  I opined about the possibility of this fight exceeding over $100 for the event in Jason Nawara’s Uproxx article this past April.  Although there might be some concern that $100 is too much for the casual fan and based on the poor in-ring entertainment from Pacquiao-Mayweather, it may scare away some from buying it.  But, with the amount of press and hype centered around this spectacle, it most certainly will draw huge PPV numbers.  While White has stated it could do 5 million PPV buys, I don’t think it comes near that amount.  But if it does over 2-2.5 million buys, the $100 price tag will be one of the biggest revenue drivers for this event.

Ward-Kovalev II disappoints with gate, PPV

July 7, 2017

The rematch for the Andre Ward/Sergey Kovalev fight last month proved to be a financial bust according to the reported gate and PPV buys.

Ward received $6.5M for the fight while Kovalev’s pay was tied to the percentage of tickets and PPV revenue.  I’m not sure who decided this for Kovalev, but based on the low financial numbers, he will not be compensated commensurate to Ward’s guarantee.

Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports first reported that the rematch did only 130,000 PPV buys (other sources had it at 135,000 buys) which is less than the 160,000 to 165,000 estimated that the two drew in November.

According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael there were only 6,366 tickets sold for the rematch at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.  Roc Nation, the promoter of the fight, announced a crowd of 10,592 on fight night.  There were 2,113 complimentary tickets given out from 10,748 available per the Nevada Athletic Commission.

Payout Perspective:

The under-performance has to be a disappointment when you consider that the anticipation for the first fight and the fact the two came through with a great performance.  Yet, there was no appetite for this fight at the gate and with the number of PPV buys.  A less-than stellar Jessie Vargas-Manny Pacquiao in early November 2016 drew around 300,00 buys which more than doubles last month rematch.  This goes to show you that a fighter’s brand means more than matchups as one has to consider that the Ward/Kovalev rematch had to be much more competitive than Vargas-Pacquiao.

Report: Mayweather-McGregor set for August 26th at T-Mobile

June 14, 2017

Kevin Iole reports that the long-awaited fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor is set to happen on August 26th at the T-Mobile Arena MGM Grand Garden Arena T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  The Las Vegas Review Journal has also confirmed the fight.  An official announcement may come as soon as Wednesday.

SECOND UPDATE:  Sorry folks, I was right the first time, it’s the T-Mobile Arena.  Possibly a Mayweather concession since the UFC is one of T-Mobile Arena’s anchor tenants while Mayweather usually fights at the MGM Grand.  TMZ has more of the details including both Mayweather and McGregor likely making over $100M each.  No news on what weight they have agreed upon.

UPDATED:  I guess it is official via Mayweather social media.  Note the “It’s Showtime” reference which means that Mayweather gets his way with the PPV provider.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission approved a date reserved by Mayweather Promotions for Saturday, August 26, 2017.  The news had Mayweather cancelling the commission review of the date, but that never happened as the commission approved the reservation Wednesday.

With that news, in all likelihood we now have a fight between Mayweather and McGregor.

Payout Perspective:

We will have more news on this as it comes.  But, I am impressed that the sides came to an agreement.  Recall, the prolonged negotiations for Mayweather-Pacquiao.  This happened sort of quickly.  No word on how much PPV will be but expect it to be $100 as both will likely be making over $100 million from the fight.

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