By Rick Reeno
Stephen Espinoza, the general manager of Showtime Sports, is fully backing the statements made on Thursday by Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer - by confirmed that Showtime's Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero pay-per-view event will exceed a million buys. Last Saturday night, Mayweather won a twelve round decision over Guerrero at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Earlier this year, Mayweather signed an exclusive six-fight contract with Showtime, and the fight with Guerrero was his first pay-per-view event not carried by network rival HBO.
By Tuesday, there were widespread industry rumors that Mayweather-Guerrero was a pay-per-view failure and the buyrate was going fall between 800 to 900,000 buys. As Schaefer indicated to BoxingScene.com on Thursday, there is no possible way that anybody could have predicted the pay-per-view numbers by Tuesday, because most of the preliminary figures are not received until Thursday and Friday of post-fight week.
"We waited until we had enough reliable information and now we feel very comfortable in saying that we will exceed a million buys. I don't know how much it will exceed a million, that will be [ironed out] with the late reporting and the late collections that are going to come over the next few weeks. But we are very comfortable in saying that it will exceed a million," Espinoza told BoxingScene.com.
Espinoza also disputed the rumors that Showtime lost money on the event, and several unconfirmed industry rumors on what his network needed in order to "break even" with their financial investment.
"I don't know where any of that information came from, or what the basis [people had] for that speculation. What's out there is inaccurate on what we needed to do to break even and [the rumors] that we were losing millions - that is simply not true. We consider this event a success in all aspects. It was a financial success. It was a programming success and it was a success for the fans, because we had great fights. All around we are very happy with the event," Espinoza said.