Pacquiao-Rios From Macau Marks HBO's First Boxing PPV Event Staged Abroad
HBO's Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios bout from Macau on Saturday will be the net's 188th PPV event, "but the first one originating outside" the U.S., according to Greg Bishop of the N.Y. TIMES. HBO's broadcast teams "will work from ballrooms transformed into television production trucks, minus the trucks." HBO "even had makeup for its on-air commentators shipped over, just in case local makeup artists did not carry it." But "not all logistical problems could be prevented." HBO for the production "shipped in 300 cases of equipment," a process that "started in early October." One shipment "arrived by boat, another by plane," and assembly began on Sunday. The company "flew in 13 people from its engineering staff and 25 from its production team, or about 40 employees when it would normally have 100." The studio operation in N.Y. "will feed statistics." Meanwhile, Pacquiao for "about an hour’s work" will make a guaranteed $18M "with an upside closer" to $30M. Top Rank Chair Bob Arum said that Pacquiao "will save ... what he would usually pay in taxes (39.6 percent)." Arum and the promotion team also "received a seven-figure guarantee" from the Venetian hotel and casino, which is hosting the fight, believed to be $8M, "which would offset any drop" in PPV revenue from holding the event in Macau. Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach said, "This is a big experiment. This could be our first and last time here." Bishop notes Top Rank "held a test event in April." Rios said, "The crowd was quiet. Like watching a poker game." Upon the fighters arrival on Tuesday, fans were "instructed when to cheer." Top tickets for the event "ended up being priced at about three times what they would go for in Las Vegas" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/22).
FOLLOW THE MONEY: In California, Mark Whicker writes, "If you’re wondering why there is suddenly world championship boxing in a former Portuguese colony that would have been the answer to a Final Jeopardy question 15 years ago, the reason is the hole that Macau has poked in the world’s pocket." Boxing "follows such money" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 11/22).