News

Jones to Donate PPV Take to Kids Charity

7/30/2000 8:00 PM Eastern

In a rare charity tie-in to a pay-per-view boxing match, light-heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. will donate a portion of each buy from TVKO's Sept. 9 Jones-Eric Harding PPV event to a Muhammad Ali-backed children's organization.

TVKO hopes the industry will aggressively market the event, which features a rare and easily obtainable 50-50 marketing-based rate card, said TVKO senior vice president Mark Taffet. Operators must run only 375 cross-channel spots and deploy just four marketing tactics to get half of the revenue.

The event will retail for a suggested $34.95.

Systems that run 250 spots and three tactics will generate 45 percent of the fight's revenue, while operators that dedicate little or no marketing resources will earn 35 percent.

The unspecified donation from each buy would come not from operator revenues, but from Jones' share of the purse, Taffet said. The money will go to the Global Village, an organization endorsed by Ali to help feed children around the world.

"The charity donation is not contingent on the support of any third party," Taffet said. "Roy has told us that what is most important to him is the marketing and the exposure of the event to help the charity."

The industry, however, may also make a donation in some form, according to executives.

"We will involve the charity tie-in at a local cable system level as much as possible," said In Demand senior vice president of programming development and event acquisition Dan York.

Though some boxing observers consider Jones the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, he has not been a marquee PPV draw, mostly due to a dearth of appealing opponents in the light heavyweight division. In three PPV fights, Jones has yet to break the 300,000 PPV-buy barrier.

The bout is also the last in a multifight deal between Jones and Time Warner Sports. The company is currently negotiating an extension with the fighter, although no deal has been reached, sources said.

October