On January 19th Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner will box on Showtime pay per view for their WBA welterweight title bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas next week.
Coming into the fight in recent months promoters on rival networks, specifically Eddie Hearn and Oscar De La Hoya on streaming platform DAZN — have both been vocal on their belief that pay per view boxing in America is now finished.
This belief by the two was spurred on by the recent signing of the biggest pay per view star in US boxing Canelo Alvarez to a subscription platform in DAZN where he inked a $365 million deal over eleven fights to now have his fights taken off of pay per view in the US moving forward.
Speaking on the Manny Pacquiao vs Adrien Broner international media conference call I wanted to get Stephen Espinoza’s thoughts on these claims as well as the future of pay per view in the US.
“On the concept of pay per view we’ve consistently said it’s a useful tool when it’s necessary. When you have a premium event. If you’ve got a filet mignon event you’re going to have filet mignon prices. You don’t get filet mignon at the price of ground beef. I think a lot of the blow back and negativity around pay per view comes when networks are trying to sell people pay per views that don’t belong on pay per view. I didn’t hear too many people saying that Wilder vs Fury was not a premium event (last month). A special event, a heavyweight title fight — an international worldwide title event that deserved to be on pay per view.”
“Likewise on January 19th you have two have the biggest stars in the sport. Manny has a long history on pay per view and the way that this event was able to happen was through the pay per view tool and these two pay per views (Pacquiao vs Broner and Wilder vs Fury) and Mayweather vs McGregor were the only three pay per views we’ve done in the last three years.”
On Hearn and De La Hoya’s comments specifically, he concluded:
“I understand what Eddie Hearn and Oscar De La Hoya are saying — it’s a great marketing ploy. That’s really all that is. It’s just a catchphrase because both of those guys rely and have relied on pay pr view as an intricate part of their business in the past. Eddie on one hand will say that pay per views are a terrible thing and they’re dead but if we look at his UK business — it’s basically all built on pay per view. Oscar himself while he is saying that boxing pay per views are dead is simultaneously selling an MMA pay per view. So the reality is that pay per view is a useful tool. It rewards the fighter for taking tough fights and it allows some fights to happen that wouldn’t otherwise happen without that tool — but it should be used sparingly.”
Pacquiao vs Broner will be live on Showtime pay per view in the US on January 19th and live on free to air television on ITV 4 in the UK.