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Volume 24 No. 159
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Upcoming Mayweather-Alvarez Fight Setting Multiple New Records For Golden Boy

Already a lock to set the record for the largest gate in boxing history, the Sept. 14 Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez fight also will set new Golden Boy Promotions highs in closed-circuit tickets sold, sponsorship sales and activation levels and on-air promotional support. "We're not just breaking the records," said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. "We're shattering them." The live gate for the sold-out fight at the MGM Grand will come in at $19,905,000, Schaefer said, beating the $18,419,200 set by Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya in the same arena in '07. Though evolutions in technology and viewing habits make it unlikely that the fight -- or any fight -- will break the PPV record of 2.4 million set by Mayweather-De La Hoya, Mayweather-Alvarez is on pace to make history in most other categories. Among the indicators:

* Closed-circuit sales in Las Vegas eclipsed the initially anticipated 8,000 tickets in the first few days after they went on sale, Schaefer said, leading MGM Resorts Int'l to expand to 12,000 and then 25,000 seats at six properties, the most ever made available since the emergence of at-home PPV. Those tickets are priced at $100, rather than the $50-75 that is typical for closed-circuit viewing on the Strip.
* About 5,000 U.S. bars and restaurants have purchased rights to show the fight, up from about 3,000 for Mayweather-De La Hoya.
* NCM Fathom will distribute the fight to about 500 movie theaters set up for almost 125,000 seats, five times as many as the previous high set by Mayweather in his victory against Miguel Cotto in May.
* CBS, Showtime and various TV distributors will combine to deliver $80-100M in promotional value through commercials plugging the fight, an increase of about 40% over the most they had spent previously on a Golden Boy PPV promotion, Schaefer said. The breakdown: CBS-Showtime will deliver $15-20M; In-Demand will deliver about $24M through its 355 affiliated cable systems and about $10M through other channels; satellite providers will provide $8-10M; telecoms will provide $5-7.5M; NCM Fathom in-theater spots will provide $3-5M; and fight sponsors will dedicate $15-20M.
* Sponsors will pay rights fees of more than $2M, up from the previous high of $1.25M and more than double the $800,000 generated by Mayweather-De La Hoya.
* Foreign rights from about 160 countries will exceed $3.3M -- not including PPV in Puerto Rico and Canada -- a 50% increase over the previous high set by Mayweather-De La Hoya. "When you have a couple of hundred thousand fans come out to see Canelo and Floyd Mayweather live on the (10-city) press tour as we did, that sort of sets the stage," Schaefer said. "It was sort of like Beatlemania. It really gave us an idea of how big this fight is."

UNPRECEDENTED PROMOTIONAL SUPPORT: Showtime will get unprecedented promotional support for the fight from the CBS mothership, in part because of where the fight falls on the calendar. The network promoted Mayweather's last fight during its Final Four coverage, but that was a month ahead of the event. This fight will get mentioned during CBS' NFL coverage this Sunday and then during its telecast of the Alabama-Texas A&M game on Sept. 14, hours before the PPV. CBS will air 10-, 15- and 30-second promos throughout the week during male-skewing primetime shows, including "CSI:" and "Hawaii Five-0," as well as during "Late Show." "Where we benefit on the entertainment side is from a variety of top-rated and male-skewing programs on the network which (reach) the casual fan," said Showtime Sports Exec VP & GM Stephen Espinoza. "Those types of shows give us access to a huge audience of males 18-49. That's a promotional opportunity we've never had before."