Mayweather-Marquez Does a Million PPV Buys

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↵Let me say right here up top that I still don't believe it.
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↵But ↵the opening salvo has been fired in what surely is going to be a long ↵debate, as HBO is today reporting that last Saturday night's Mayweather ↵vs. Marquez fight did one million pay-per-view buys.
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↵This ↵news opens up a whole host of other questions, of course. Are the ↵numbers accurate, first of all? How does a fight that had such trouble ↵putting fannies in the seats do such staggering business on TV? And ↵then, if these are the only numbers we're going to get, if the record ↵is going to show that Mayweather is indeed a million-buy man as an ↵A-side, what does that do for the mega-fight that's on everybody's ↵mind, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao? Pacquiao did 850K in PPV buys in May, ↵but his opponent was Ricky Hatton, a B-side who brings a lot of ↵business to the table. Presuming that the Pacquiao/Cotto fight in ↵November equals or exceeds the Mayweather/Marquez numbers, which I ↵fully expect it will do, and presuming that Pacquiao wins that fight ↵(not nearly as certain a presumption), we are looking at a genuine King ↵Kong vs. Godzilla negotiation between the two would-be pound-for-pound ↵and pay-per-view kings of boxing. One wonders if such a negotiation, ↵with Bob Arum on one side and Mayweather on the other, ever can lead to ↵the two principals actually meeting up in the ring.
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↵The ↵question of a Pacquiao fight aside, let's just suspend disbelief for a ↵moment and accept that the numbers are accurate, or even that they're ↵probably blown up a little bit, that the fight actually did, say, ↵somewhere in the neighborhood of 800-900K, which is still an amazing ↵take. Other than the obvious issue of the cash-cow ascension of ↵Mayweather, what this primarily indicates to me is that there are still ↵a lot of boxing fans out there who love a big event, and if you only ↵give them a few legit pay-per-views a year, those events will do great ↵business.
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↵There was only one big pay-per-view fight this year ↵prior to Mayweather/Marquez, and that was Pacquiao/Hatton in May, a ↵fight that also did numbers that exceeeded everyone's expectations. The ↵lesson here is something that boxing fans have been saying for years – ↵less is more when it comes to pay-per-view boxing matches. When there ↵are nine or ten pay-per-views a year, as there have been in the last ↵few years, they generate bad press and less-than-stellar numbers, ↵watering down the public's appetite for truly BIG fights.
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↵This ↵year, there are going to be only three major pay-per-views in boxing, ↵with Pacquiao/Cotto still to come. It looks like every one of them is ↵going to do unbelievable business and generate tremendously positive ↵buzz for the sport in the U.S. It's a great development for fight fans. ↵Let's just hope that come 2010, the powers-that-be don't get dizzy with ↵the success and start flooding the airwaves with pay-per-view fights ↵again. Stick to the lean-and-mean model, please, because it clearly ↵pays off in the end.
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↵That said... I still don't believe it.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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