Pacquiao PPV Payday a Pleasant Surprise


Pay-per-view promoters hope the May 7 Manny
Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight isn’t the only major event
the boxing category has to offer in 2011.

 Pacquiao easily won a 12-round decision in the Showtime-
distributed PPV fight against a non-competitive
Mosley. The World Boxing Organization welterweight title
contest was frequently booed by the crowd in Las Vegas.

Nevertheless, the fight is projected to generate at least
1.2 million buys, fight promoter Bob Arum told The New
York Times last week. That would match or surpass Pacquiao’s
best PPV performance, a Dec. 2008 bout against
Oscar De La Hoya.

Neither Showtime nor Top Rank executives could be
reached for comment last week regarding the fight’s performance.

If the numbers hold, Pacquiao-Mosley would be by far
the biggest PPV event thus far in 2011, according to industry

The fight benefited from an aggressive promotional
and marketing campaign, highlighted by broadcast CBS’s
primetime airing of an episode of Showtime’s Fight Camp
360 Pacquiao-Mosley preview series.

The fight also was the first that distributors could offer
on-demand the next day, at the same $54.95 price tag,
splitting the take with Showtime.

Now, the question is: what’s next for PPV boxing?
Published reports have Pacquiao potentially fighting in
a Nov. 12 rubber-match bout against Juan Manuel Marquez.
Their first fight in May 2004 ended up a draw, while
Pacquiao won a controversial split decision in March 2008.

Beyond that, there’s a dearth of potential PPV matches
in the foreseeable future. Industry observers say the category
will be hard-pressed to continue a three-year run in
which PPV boxing events have generated a combined 11
million PPV buys.

Last year alone, the category
generated nearly 4 million PPV

“You wait for the big fights to
develop, but it’s not like it was
years ago,” John Woods, vice
president of advanced consumer
services for Mediacom Communications,
said. “I’m concerned
about the event category … From
what I’m seeing it’s going to be a
bit of a lean year.”

Tony Paige, a sports-radio host
on WFAN New York, said the only
real mega-PPV fight this year
would be between Pacquiao and
Floyd Mayweather Jr. A scheduled
contest was derailed in 2010
over the latter’s demands for random
drug testing.

Mayweather, undefeated and
one of the biggest draws in PPV
boxing, is dealing with legal issues that have kept him out
of the ring since fighting Mosley a year ago (1.4 million
PPV buys).

“I don’t think there’s another big PPV fight out there,”
Paige said. “Pacquiao-Marquez is a fight fan’s fight.
But the only fight everyone wants to see is Pacquiao-