Last Saturday night’s big pay-per-view rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury was easily the biggest event in boxing so far this year, but the reported pay-per-view buy numbers are going to cause some different reactions.
Mike Coppinger reports that the fight did between 800-850,000 buys, which Chris Mannix backs up. Mannix adds that digital buys through ESPN+ and the FOX Sports app “overperformed,” while traditional cable did not.
Mannix adds, “Privately, officials hoped for 1 to 1.1 millions, effectively break even numbers.” And we know very well that Bob Arum in various interviews had wild visions of 2-3 million buys, which was never, ever realistic given that the first fight in Dec. 2018 did 325K.
Honestly, this is about what I imagined they’d get. Obviously more than 850,000 people watched this fight. A lot of them just stole it.
But if it was 800K at a $79.99 pricepoint, then that’s just short of $64 million in PPV revenue. If it was 850K, then just short of $68 million. Word was that Fury and Wilder were both guaranteed at least $25 million for the fight plus a cut of the PPV.
Is this what they wanted? Clearly not. Is it a terrible number? I don’t think so. But if it can be called a true commercial success, it’s perhaps just barely one, and you have to wonder if a third fight can even match these numbers.