Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao stand to earn millions in their iconic fight, which is only one day away. They are not the only ones who will make millions from the fight. The numbers are sure to break records – records that Mayweather already holds.
Pay-Per-View’s First Fight
It was George Foreman and Evander Holyfield fighting for the heavyweight title in April 1991. In order to see the fight on pay-per-view, customers had to go to their local cable company and put down a deposit for a box that would allow them to see the fight. The Friday before the fight, there were lines of people around the building and not enough boxes for the demand, said the overseer for HBO’s pay-per-view, Mark Taffet.
1.4 million people watched the fight for $35.95, and they got their money’s worth. Holyfield took some hard punches from 42-year-old George Foreman, and then he came back with some heavy hits of his own, and won the bout by unanimous decision.
May 2 Pay-Per-View: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
Today, it is easier than ever to get pay-per-view right in one’s own living room, using the cable remote. The audience has also grown to almost 100 million potential viewers in America. The price has also changed. To watch Mayweather versus Pacquiao from the comfort of one’s living room will cost $99.95.
Over three million people are projected to use pay-per-view to watch the big fight from their own homes. This could possibly be the richest fight ever.
This fight is set to break records for the number of pay-per-view customers. The current record is 2.48 million customers who paid to see Mayweather fight Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. The highest pay-per-view revenue was $50 million for the Mayweather versus Canelo Alvarez fight in 2013.
It is anticipated that the pay-per-view record will be broken, according to Stephen Espinoza, the executive vice president and general manager for Showtime sports. Showtime is producing the telecast, and partnering with HBO to deliver the fight to viewers. Espinoza said they are already seeing extraordinary traffic and viewership. There are many indications that are revealing that the fight will be a grand success; they are just not sure how big of a success will be seen.
HBO and Showtime Come Together
Mayweather has a contract with Showtime and Pacquiao has a contract with HBO. Even though HBO and Showtime have been long-time boxing rivals themselves, this fight required them to come together in some sort of agreement.
They opted to use a similar model than the one they used for the 2002 fight between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson. They also have created an announcing team that features Lim Lampley from HBO doing the play-by-play, and Al Berstein from Showtime as the colour analyst. Lampley and Berstein are the most knowledgeable and experienced broadcasters in the sport, said the executive vice president and general manager for Showtime sports, Espinoza. The announcement team is an iconic pair.
HBO and Showtime are planning on an extraordinary promotional campaign all this week by several different satellite, and cable companies to promote sales. These ads are to attract casual sports fans. People who may make watching the fight a party, like for the Super Bowl. The target, is people who do not have sports conversations, or are not big sports fans, according to Espinoza. If people have a gathering for the fight and split the cost among attendees, is can be as low as the cost of a movie ticket.
The pay-per-view price of $99.95 is the highest price tag for any fight. However, fans who purchase beer from Tecate, a sponsor for the fight, will receive a $50 rebate on their pay-per-view cost.
The early indications show the price for pay-per-view for this fight will not keep people from paying the fee. According to Taffet, two weeks before the fight, distributors had sold over 10,000 pay-per-views. This is unusual, as choosing pay-per-view is generally a last minute decision.
Estimated Pay-Per-View Payouts
If over 3 million people purchase the telecast, there will be large payouts for Mayweather and Pacquiao. Promoters generally receive an average of $55 to $60 for each pay-per-view after networks and distributors get their cut. Revenue for Mayweather and Pacquiao could possibly be $200 million.
Based on estimates from The New York Times, the revenues from the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will benefit many different resources that are involved in promoting and broadcasting the fight. Pay-per-view will bring in 69 percent of the revenue, and that is the largest piece of the revenue pie.
The Estimated Numbers for Mayweather vs Pacquiao
It is anticipated that the fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao for the welterweight title will certainly break financial records for a prize fight. There are several records the fight is in line to break.
Live Gate Receipts has a current record of $20 million, brought in from the 2013 Mayweather-Alvarez fight in Nevada. The projection for the May 2 fight is $70 million. As already stated, the record for pay-per-view purchases is 2.48 million for the 2007 Mayweather-De La Hoya fight. The welterweight title fight is projected at over 3 million. The record for total pay-per-view revenue is $150 million from the 2013 Mayweather-Alvarez fight. It is projected that the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will bring in $300 million in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada alone. The last record the May 2 fight is set to break would be fighter’s earnings. The current record is held by Mayweather-Alvarez at $70 million, calculated by Forbes.
The projection for May 2 is over $100 million for each fighter, but $200 million for Mayweather, as calculated by Mayweather. However, the fighters have to pay taxes on their winnings and pay their promoters, so in reality, half of their winnings could be paid out. Mayweather Promotions represents Mayweather, and Top Rank represents Pacquiao. Promoters will also see a windfall from the fight. Thirty percent of a fighter’s cut goes to their promoter. This number, however, could drop for established fighters.
Sponsorship revenue could reach $12 million. Merchandise sales could go as high as $1 million. Due to the fight being in Las Vegas, it can be watched only at MGM locations throughout Vegas. This allows MGM to charge a cover, thereby creating more foot traffic, according to David Carter, who is a sports business professor at the University of Southern California.
These estimates do not include the cash flowing through Las Vegas from the attendees of the event. It is sure that the fight will create compelling restaurant, hotel and gambling revenue. However, millions will be made by Mayweather and Pacquiao in possibly the biggest fight in history, which is only one day away.
By Jeanette Smith
Photos courtesy of
Roof – Creativecommons Flickr License
Roger Alcantara – Creativecommons Flickr License
PrizeFights.com – Creativecommons Flickr License