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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Hopefully PPV Prices Don't Dimish May-Pac Fight For Some People
There is a long-standing saying which goes "Everyone knows a good fight when they see one."
So when Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather face off on a date tentatively set for March 13 (Pacquiao is the last piece of this puzzle), people expect a good fight.
The only question is: Are people willing to pay $50 or more to see it?
My guess is yes, since people will go to their friend's house and pony up $10 to help offset the cost and have a nice party.
And doing so will add another sad chapter in the roller coaster ride of boxing's dance into the niche sport realm.
Every boxing year goes like this: plenty of good fights that A) nobody sees or cares about or B) people hear about after it happens and catch the rerun, followed by a superfight that will sell well more than million pay-per-view buys.
"Pay-per-view, overall, is negative because you have the least amount of people seeing the best fights," said Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole, who initially broke the story about the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight being close to finalized. "But it's a democratic thing. If the public doesn't like a fight, they don't have to buy it."
Iole, who has covered boxing for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, has been a fight fan for more than 30 years. He recalls when the best fights were on free television.
I don't even remember being able to watch a high-quality boxing match on free television (Does watching reruns of Marvin Hagler-Tommy Hearns on ESPN Classic count?).
Iole likens the whole pay-per-view model to having to pay for the best possible football games, while getting stuck with the games that scrape the bottom of the barrel.
Iole is quick to admit that if the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight were to be moved onto free television, it would be huge for the sport.
But sadly, he also points out that the chance of that happening is akin to Utah State, UNLV and San Diego State's reaching a bowl game this season.
"There is no matching the amount of money they're going to get paid,' Iole said. "Nobody knows exactly the amount they're going to get paid, but it's a pretty fair estimate that it's going to start at $40 million and get higher.
"It would be too difficult to pay these guys."
Even finding sponsors, selling the bout to the highest bidder wouldn't offset the cost needed that would make it just as profitable as a pay-per-view event. There would also need to be changes in the structure of fight cards as in when to start the bout.
Too much work. Not enough cash.
Boxing is not dying, contrary to the popular and mainstream media says. It's just coasting into a dark place, where coverage is limited, and people care less and less.
If the sport is to avoid the fate of horse racing, it needs to find a way to create more fans. Putting the best fights on free television would do that, but if we have to stick with the pay-per-view model, all the fight cards have to be great from top to bottom.
In Iole's opinion, the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is probably the biggest fight since the first Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight in 1971 because of both men are in their prime and people so desperately want to see them go at it.
People know a good fight when they see one.
And usually they pay for it.
Dean of the Scene
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: The Deep South
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id pay 100 to see this but then again im not a casual fan.
I too wish there was more boxing on TV but it will never happen in the states. Money rules all and really i cant blame the elites of the sport for making us pay to watch. They are some of the best athletes in the world and unlike football players and basketball players who have salaries and will be paid no matter what...boxers only get paydays when they fight so when they fight there better be some dough on the table.
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Melville, South Africa
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The main sports have heavy corporate sponsorship and a huge industry for merchandising and tv rights.
Boxing can't compete with that, so ppv is the only way they can make money since major networks rarely show boxing and have rarely done it for over 30 years.
I mean even Hagler-Hearns was ppv back in 1981. And it was on a Monday!
Reason being to keep people in Vegas for the weekend before to increase the cash flow to the casinos.
PPV is needed to inject money into the sport because they just don't have the resources the major sports do.
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