Tyson Returns to PPV Home


Mike Tyson will make his return to the pay-per-view world Oct. 20, when he takes on heavyweight Andrew Golota, distributor Showtime Event Television said last week.

The bout marks Tyson's first PPV match since his January 1999 fight against Frans Botha, which pulled about 700,000 buys. Showtime has distributed the last few Tyson bouts on its premium-cable channel.

The former heavyweight champion's April fight against Lou Savarese was originally slated for PPV, but SET moved it to its premium channel after a dispute with In Demand L.L.C. involving the rate card for the bout.

"The opponent and the economics determine whether it's going to be a pay-per-view event or [on] Showtime," SET spokeswoman Marina Capurro said when asked why the company opted for PPV rather than distribution on its premium channel.

SET slapped a $49.95 suggested retail price on the fight. That cost may pose some risk to PPV subscribers, considering the fact that Tyson has a knack for leveling his opponents early in his fights.

In April, Tyson knocked out Savarese in just 38 seconds.

Cablevision Systems Corp. opted to charge subscribers $9.95 per round for Tyson's two PPV fights against Evander Holyfield, including the infamous ear-biting bout. And in June, the MSO offered subscribers a $20 discount on the $49.95 rate it charged for the Oscar De La Hoya-Shane Mosely fight if it ended within the first three rounds.

The bout ended up going the full 12 rounds, with Mosely winning a split decision.

A Cablevision spokeswoman said last week that the MSO hadn't determined how it will market and price the Tyson-Golota fight.