Rumors are floating out there of weak sales for the Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Victor Ortiz pay-per-view fight on September 17, but Dan Rafael of ESPN.com says that numbers are still being compiled, and won't be released until at least Monday.
Those who care about this sort of thing can note that usually within the week after a fight, if numbers are good, someone releases a strong estimate, then notes, "And it'll go up when they're all counted!" It rarely goes up once they're all counted, as the estimate tends to be on the high side anyway, but generally speaking, we've heard something by now.
I'm not saying I think the numbers are weak, but it's worth thinking about. Why hasn't anyone at Golden Boy or HBO spoken about their usual jubilant early number?
Before the fight, Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy noted that the fight was "trending" very well, and one number thrown out for expectation was 1.75 million. I don't think it will be that high, and didn't think it would be that high when he said it. Oscar De La Hoya, being himself, predicted at the final press conference last week that he thought the fight would beat his 2.4 million mark, the pay-per-view record from his own 2007 fight with Mayweather. That was never, ever going to happen.
So with this going the way it is, what's your guess on the number right now? I thought it would do about 1.5 million before the fight, but I'm going to lower my guess at this point to 1.3 million. It's still very strong, but obviously I think Mayweather, HBO, Golden Boy, etc., would have liked it to hit that 1.5 mark or maybe above. Floyd's part-time fighting career has in some ways helped boost his PPV sales, but maybe this time it just wasn't the right time, wasn't the right opponent, or the promotion didn't grab people.
That is, if it is low. It might very well not be low at all, and either way, the fight generated considerable buzz. We'll also be on the lookout for the TV numbers that the replay draws on Saturday night, because I'm interested to see if that replay, without a live fight attached, and with it being something that everyone has seen by now somehow, does a good rating.