The preliminary Liam Smith vs Canelo PPV buys tally are in and they make for fairly underwhelming reading when compared to pay per views in years gone by.
Pay per views in sport as we all know are currently effected by factors online with many fans streaming and so forth, but that still doesn’t account for the poor performance seen last weekend in Texas.
This is despite the fact the event was an excellent one, selling over 52,000 tickets on the gate with the main event been an extremely entertaining battle between Canelo Alvarez and Liam Smith for the nine rounds it lasted.
Respected US journalist Lance Pugmire is reporting the following on the Smith vs Canelo PPV buys Stateside:
Early returns on satellite trends show the @Canelo @LiamBeefySmith fight is in the 290k-310k range for PPV buys, about 600k less than Cotto.
— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) September 22, 2016
When comparing the above numbers like he’s done above, they do make for grim reading, although coming into this event it was widely agreed in boxing circles that the fight was unlikely to appeal to non-boxing fans or those outside the Mexican boxing community who support Canelo, due to the relatively unknown quantity that Smith represented to most US boxing fans.
When you think about how Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao drew over four million pay per view buys only last year in 2015 though, the above does illustrate how far Canelo still has to go in terms of being anywhere near the star power of either of the above men.
But to be fair to him, too, if it were a fight where him and Golovkin were in the ring last weekend you could have expected the numbers to be perhaps at least four times higher than what the Smith fight produced in the end.
In the last year alone more and more pay per views have been in decline. That is a fact that boxing can no longer ignore. That much is clear.
With Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz in the UFC recently drawing in a reported 1.5 million pay per views for their UFC 202 event, it shows that the pay per view model in the fight business is not totally broken either.
Boxing promoters will perhaps need to follow suit on the UFC’s model of distributing their own pay per views in the very near future, instead of being overly reliant on big TV networks who often can take anywhere between 7-10% of an event’s entire gross revenue.
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