There is no doubt that boxing pay per views are all over the place at the minute. One second they seem legitimate for a major fight that people are interested in, the next they are for a fight that seems to have little mass appeal to the wider audience.
Boxing pay per views have always been part of the sport and the fight business in general, people don’t mind going around to their buddies on a Saturday night chipping in for a pay per view, if it’s worth it.
If it’s for a credibly compelling big fight for a world title.
But that’s the problem in recent years in boxing, sometimes fights that frankly shouldn’t be pay per view, are.
It’s mostly happened in the US boxing market if we are been totally honest with ourselves, but the UK has certainly put on a few pay per view blunders for their part as well.
Buying a pay per view should be something to get excited for, something that fight fans converse about for weeks and months ahead of the fight – something that captures that wider public’s interest too for one reason or another.
UFC who are the biggest organisation in mixed martial arts have done this well over the past decade, only reserving their marquee and biggest names for their pay per views which have become numbered as a consequence (UFC 200, UFC 201, etc), adding to the allure and appeal of them.
Sometimes even separately to their pay per views they even put some of their big stars on network television shows, but always with the caveat of never messing up their pay per view business model because at the end of the day, that’s what the fight business has become nowadays (for it’s main revenue stream).
Flooding the market with too many pay per views also takes away from the appeal of when big fights do eventually roll around. Too much of anything is not healthy.
Pay per views should be reserved for the juiciest, most compelling match-ups in boxing. Period.
Promoter and head honcho of Top Rank Bob Arum recently noted his organisation will be starting to put on their own pay per views soon (like the UFC have for years) and with TV channel BoxNation in the UK also announcing their own pay per view channel recently, expect this trend to continue.
It’s not necessarily all about the TV broadcaster anymore in this media fragmented world we now find ourselves living in because of the internet.
It’s about who’s putting on the most engaging fights and distributing their content the best in the build-up.
Promoters taking control back over this process and not been overly reliant on large TV broadcasters isn’t necessarily a bad thing in my view.
Boxing pay per views are not dead, they just need to be made feel special again – for the fights that are worthy of pay per view.
An excellent fight coming up in November between light-heavyweights Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev is an example of this.
Now there’s a pay per view, and one everyone in boxing should get behind.
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