SBD/December 6, 2013/Media

Top Rank's Arum Says Pacquiao-Rios Bout In Macau Drew Nearly PPV 500,000 Buys

Arum knew that having the fight in China would hurt American PPV numbers
Top Rank Chair Bob Arum on Thursday said that boxer Manny Pacquiao's Nov. 23 decision victory over Brandon Rios in Macau "generated in the neighborhood of 500,000 pay-per-view buys," according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. Arum: "We ran all our numbers on something a little less than 500,000 but figuring we'd do around 500,000, and that's what we're going to wind up doing. It means 490,000 or 510,000, something like that." Rafael reported the fight, which was HBO's first PPV card ever done outside the U.S., "generated approximately" $30M in domestic PPV revenue. However, there are "some in the boxing industry who claim the fight didn't crack 400,000 buys." Arum and HBO execs "knew when they made the fight that having it in China would hurt the American PPV numbers." The CotaiArena had "a capacity crowd of 13,101." But the PPV total "paled in comparison" to Pacquiao's previous bout in December '12. That fight, Pacquiao's fourth with Juan Manuel Marquez, "generated 1.15 million PPV buys" (ESPN.com, 12/4). USA TODAY's Bob Velin noted the number of buys "could take months or years to trickle in." HBO PPV President Mark Taffet said that PPV events originating from non-U.S. cities "generally do between 30% and 40% of the buys compared with similar events" that originate from the states. Taffet: "It was an extraordinary effort by everyone involved, and we recognized that anything above 350,000 buys would be a success." Velin notes by comparison, the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez super welterweight title fight in September "registered 2.2 million PPV buys on Showtime" for $150M in PPV revenue, an all-time record (USA TODAY, 12/6).
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