Market forces and tradition put the Charlo twins, Jermall and Jermell, on pay-per-view on Sept. 26, and among hardcore fans and pundits who follow the business side of the sport, there was ample conjecture as to how the Texas duo would do.
In speaking to promoter Bob Arum on Wednesday, the Top Rank promoter said he heard the PPV did 50,000 buys. Another lifer, with no dog in the hunt, told me he heard that the Showtime production did about 70,000. Arum said OK, let’s say it’s in the middle, 60,000 buys.
On Thursday, though, reporter Mike Coppinger from The Athletic Tweeted out a higher number. At least 100,000, sources told him:
Sources: Showtime’s PPV doubleheader featuring the Charlo twins is expected to generate more than 100,000 buys with a chance to top out at 120,000. PPV debut for Jermall and Jermell, and they went up against NBA Conference Final and UFC 253— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) October 2, 2020
Of course, some folks care about the PPV buy numbers more than others. And some care so much, it’s like they believe they get a piece of the action.
For others, how many people purchased a PPV event is not a statistic of tremendous import — but it can be useful to gauge the star power of fighters, as well as the wellness of the sport as a whole.
It can also indicate other things, like how clotted up a night was in terms of sports or entertainment options, and breeds theorizing and speculation as to reasons why a number is what it is.
Also, perhaps, it’s a signal of confidence, thumbs up or thumbs down, in the economy. Unemployment ticked up hard nationally with states responding to the coronavirus pandemic, and that could have been a reason why, if the Charlo PPV didn’t do well as backers hoped.
Some of these questions, what the numbers mean, will be asked as we assess the performance of “Charlopalooza.”
Maybe it’s time to get the same people poised to count election ballots to do a thorough tally, and keep that crew together to do a count for every PPV. That way there will be less wiggle room for “debate,” which occurs when there is an information vacuum to be held. That would be part of a shift in the bigger picture, away from the business of boxing and back to a concentration and appreciation for the sporting competition itself.
We can, and do, dream.