Pay-per-view event distributors should thank Manny Pacquiao for stuffing their coffers in 2010.
The “Pac-Man’s” Nov. 13 fight against Antonio Margarito generated 1.1 million PPV buys and $64 million in revenue, according to HBO officials – the second biggest PPV boxing event of the year behind the 1.4 million buys/$78 million in revenue generated by the May 1 Floyd Mayweather-Shane Mosley fight.
Add the 700,000 PPV buys Pacquiao garnered in his March 13 bout against Joshua Clottey, and the Filipino Congressman accounted for nearly half of the 3.7 million PPV fight purchases HBO Sports generated during the year, according to the network.
Cable operators should also say a prayer that Pacquiao doesn’t make politics his primary focus. The fighter recently said he plans to box for three more years before hanging up his gloves, which is encouraging for both boxing fans and PPV event executives.
While it’s unclear who Pacquiao will fight next, now is the time for the PPV boxing industry to cultivate several would-be PPV champions by matching them up against Pacquiao while the pound-for-pound champion remains a huge PPV draw.
Pacquiao bouts against such young fighters as Andre Berto, Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander and Amir Khan could create potentially lucrative PPV events while exposing a new crop of talented fighters to casual boxing fans.
Few people outside hard core boxing fans had heard of Pacquiao before he fought and beat the former PPV boxing king Oscar De La Hoya in 2008. That fight generated 1.25 million buys and helped put Pacquiao on the PPV boxing map.
Over the next three years of Pacquiao’s PPV reign, let’s hope that the PPV boxing category can build the next big PPV boxing champion off of Pacquiao’s coattails.