Pay-per-view - North America - United States - HBO PPV

HBO PPV

In 2006 HBO generated 3,700,000 pay-per-view buys with $177,000,000 in gross sales. The only year with more buys previously, 1999, had a total of 4,000,000. However, the record fell in 2007 when HBO sold 4,800,000 PPV buys with $255,000,000 in sales.

But 1999 differed radically from 2006. 1999 saw De La Hoya-Trinidad (1,400,000 buys), Holyfield-Lewis I (1,200,000), Holyfield-Lewis II (850,000), and De La Hoya-Quartey (570,000). By contrast, only one pay-per-view mega-fight took place in 2006: De La Hoya-Mayorga (925,000 buys). Rahman-Maskaev bombed with under 50,000. The other eight PPV cards last year all fell in the 325,000–450,000 range. Pay-per-view fights in that range almost always generate more money for the promoter and fighters than HBO wants to pay for an HBO World Championship Boxing license-fee.

In May 2007, the super-welterweight boxing match between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. on HBO PPV became the biggest-selling non-heavyweight title fight, with a little more than 2.5 million buyers. The fight itself generated roughly $134.4 million dollars in domestic PPV revenue, making it the most lucrative prizefight of all time.

The leading PPV attraction, Oscar De La Hoya, has "sold" approximately 12.8 million units in total, giving $612 million in domestic television receipts. In third place in buys, Evander Holyfield has achieved 12.6 million units ($543 million); and in second, Mike Tyson has reached 12.4 million units ($545 million). Floyd "Money" Mayweather has generated 9,6 million buys and $543 million in revenue

HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg calls the expansion of pay-per-view "the biggest economic issue in boxing" and says:

"I can't tell you that pay-per-view helps the sport because it doesn't. It hurts the sport because it narrows our audience, but it's a fact of life. Every time we try to make an HBO World Championship Boxing fight, we're up against mythical pay-per-view numbers. HBO doesn't make a lot of money from pay-per-view. There's usually a cap on what we can make. But the promoters and fighters insist on pay-per-view because that's where their greatest profits lie."

"It's a big problem," Greenburg continues. "It's getting harder and harder to put fighters like Manny Pacquiao on HBO World Championship Boxing. If Floyd Mayweather beats Oscar, he might never fight on HBO World Championship Boxing again. But if HBO stopped doing pay-per-view, the promoters would simply do it on their own or find someone else who will do it for them."

Former HBO Sports President Seth Abraham concurs, saying, "I think, if Lou (DiBella) and I were still at HBO, we'd be in the same pickle as far as the exodus of fights to pay-per-view is concerned."

Select HBO PPV boxing buyrates between 1991 and 2012 include:

Date Fight Result Buy rate
01991-04-19Apr 19, 1991 Evander Holyfield vs. George Foreman Holyfield wins by UD (116-111, 117–110, 115–112) 1,400,000
01991-06-28Jun 28, 1991 Mike Tyson vs. Donovan Ruddock 2 Tyson wins by UD (113-109, 114–108, 114–108) 1,250,000
01995-08-19Aug 19, 1995 Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley Tyson wins by DQ in the 1st round 1,550,000
01996-03-16Mar 16, 1996 Mike Tyson vs. Frank Bruno 2 Tyson wins by TKO in the 3rd round 1,370,000
01996-11-09Nov 9, 1996 Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield 1 Holyfield wins by TKO in the 11th round 1,590,000
01997-04-12Apr 12, 1997 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Pernell Whitaker De La Hoya wins by UD (115-111, 116–110, 116–110) 720,000
01997-06-28Jun 28, 1997 Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield 2 Holyfield wins by DQ in the 3rd round 1,990,000
01999-03-13Mar 13, 1999 Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox Lewis 1 Draw 1,200,000
01999-09-18Sep 18, 1999 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Félix Trinidad Trinidad wins by MD (115-113, 115–114, 114–114) 1,400,000
01999-11-13Nov 13, 1999 Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox Lewis 2 Lewis wins by UD (116-112, 117–111, 115–113) 850,000
02002-06-08Jun 8, 2002 Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson Lewis wins by KO in the 8th round 1,970,000
02002-09-14Sep 14, 2002 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Fernando Vargas De La Hoya wins by TKO in the 11th round 935,000
02003-09-13Sep 13, 2003 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Shane Mosley 2 Mosley wins by UD (113–115, 113–115, 113–115) 950,000
02004-09-18Sep 18, 2004 Bernard Hopkins vs. Oscar De La Hoya Hopkins wins by KO in the 9th round 1,000,000
02006-05-06May 6, 2006 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Ricardo Mayorga De La Hoya wins by TKO in the 6th round 925,000
02007-05-05May 5, 2007 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Mayweather wins by SD (116-112, 115–113, 113–115) 2,500,000
02007-12-08Dec 8, 2007 Floyd Mayweather vs. Ricky Hatton Mayweather wins by TKO in the 10th round 920,000
02008-12-06Dec 6, 2008 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao Pacquiao wins by RTD in the 8th round 1,250,000
02009-05-02May 2, 2009 Ricky Hatton vs. Manny Pacquiao Pacquiao wins by KO in the 2nd round 850,000
02009-09-19Sep 19, 2009 Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Márquez Mayweather wins by UD (120-107, 119–108, 118–109) 1,050,000
02009-11-14Nov 14, 2009 Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto Pacquiao wins by TKO in the 12th round 1,200,000
02010-03-13Mar 13, 2010 Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey Pacquiao wins by UD (119-109, 119–109, 120–108) 700,000
02010-05-01May 1, 2010 Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley Mayweather wins by UD (119-109, 118–110, 119–109) 1,400,000
02010-11-13Nov 13, 2010 Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito Pacquiao wins by UD (120-108, 118–110, 119–109) 1,150,000
02011-05-07May 7, 2011 Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley Pacquiao wins by UD (119-108, 120–108, 120–107) 1,340,000
02011-09-17Sep 17, 2011 Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz Mayweather wins by KO in the 4th round 1,250,000
02011-11-13Nov 13, 2011 Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez Pacquiao wins by MD (115-113, 114–114, 116–112) 1,450,000
02012-05-05May 5, 2012 Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto Mayweather wins by UD (117-111, 117–111, 118–110) 1,500,000
02012-06-09June 9, 2012 Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley Bradley wins by SD (115–113, 115–113, 115–113) 700,000

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