SBD/Issue 166/Sports Media

Pacquiao-Hatton Bout Reportedly Draws Big HBO PPV Numbers

Hatton-Pacquiao Bout On May 2 Attracted
About 825,000 Purchases On HBO PPV
The May 2 Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton bout attracted about 825,000 purchases on HBO PPV, "with the likelihood that when they're all counted, the total will reach more than 850,000," according to sources cited by Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. That would mean the fight generated almost $50M in PPV revenue in the U.S., a "huge number that doesn't even take into account" sales from Hatton's native U.K., "where the fight easily could have done 1 million buys." The bout also drew a live gate of $8.8M and closed-circuit ticket sales of $575,750 in Las Vegas alone. The PPV buys from the bout are the "second-best ever," excluding Oscar De La Hoya fights and heavyweight bouts featuring Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. Rafael noted the "bottom line is that Pacquiao-Hatton was a massive success," and at a "time when many have questioned what would become of the boxing business in the wake of the retirement of De La Hoya ... Pacquiao-Hatton answered the question." When a 140-pound bout "in which neither participant is American can do a number like 850,000, especially in the midst of a brutal recession, it's celebration time." However, Top Rank Chair Bob Arum, who co-promoted the fight, will not disclose PPV figures. Arum: "It's nobody's business what the numbers are but ours and the fighters." Rafael wrote Arum "should be proud" of the figures, "especially because this was the first big fight of the post-De La Hoya era" (ESPN.com, 5/14).

PACKING A PUNCH: HBO Sports Senior VP/Sports Operation & PPV Mark Taffet would not comment on a specific PPV sales figure, but said that the fight was a "'true PPV megafight' and added it sets the stage for other potentially strong performing PPV boxing events for 2009." Taffet said Pacquiao "established himself as a pay-per-view star, igniting a boxing resurgence that will continue" with the July 18 Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez bout and "carry through the rest of the year" (MULTICHANNEL.com, 5/13). FIRSTCUTS' Dave Larzelere noted Arum after the Pacquiao-Hatton fight predicted that it would draw between 1.6-2 million PPV buys. Now "he finds himself trying to squash the news that it actually did 850K, news that he should in fact be celebrating" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 5/14).

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