SBJ/April 30 - May 6, 2007/Media

De La Hoya to be biggest hit in pay-per-view history

Oscar De La Hoya is expected to become the all-time highest-grossing attraction in pay-per-view history following his May 5 bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Since his first PPV bout in 1995, De La Hoya’s fights have brought in $492 million in revenue from 17 PPV events, which is just $53 million behind Mike Tyson’s record $545 million, which was earned from 12 events.

Evander Holyfield is second on the list, with $543 million from 14 events.

De La Hoya will set the new record with 965,000 PPV buys on May 5. HBO PPV executives are projecting that the bout will easily eclipse 1 million buys.  The telecast is priced at $54.95.

“I’m very confident the fight will exceed those levels,” said Mark Taffet, HBO Sports senior vice president of marketing and operations. “We know we have a big one.”

So far, two De La Hoya fights have had 1 million or more buys. His 1999 bout against Felix Trinidad registered 1.4 million buys and $71.4 million in revenue and is the highest grossing non-heavyweight PPV boxing match of all time. The other, a 2004 fight with Bernard Hopkins, had 1 million buys and brought in $56 million.

Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson combined for the biggest PPV gate ever in 2003, with 1.98 million buys bringing in $112 million.

Part of the reason for Taffet’s optimism deals with technological advances in the cable and satellite industries, which now have a record number of homes that have PPV access.

The fight will be available to 61 million pay-per-view homes, a 32 percent increase from 2002’s Lewis-Tyson fight.

Taffet also pointed to “24/7,” a reality series starring De La Hoya and Mayweather that is running during HBO’s highly rated Sunday night.

“That series is going to hit a group of viewers that are seldom exposed to boxing,” Taffet said.  He added that HBO’s $25 million marketing campaign and extensive sponsorship packages will help draw viewers to the PPV event.

The promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, has signed Cazadores tequila as the event’s primary sponsor, with their logo on ring mats, corner pads and marketing materials. It also has deals with Tecate, which created a 24-ounce commemorative beer can that it is selling at 14,000 7-Eleven stores across the country (see SportsBusiness Journal, April 2-8 issue).

Rock Star energy drink signed up for a series of in-store promotions at 1,100 Circle K convenience stores. Bally’s and Starwood Hotels will also do consumer promotions around the bout.

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