Mayweather v Pacquiao packs a pricey pay-per-view punch

Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:37pm EDT
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By Mary Milliken

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Guadalupe Jaimes, a Chicago roofing supply salesman, calls the $100 pay-per-view price tag for a high-definition broadcast of Saturday's boxing mega-match "ridiculous."

It's a price that he and millions more will pay to watch an undefeated Floyd Mayweather take on Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on Saturday in one of the year's biggest sporting events.

"You can definitely get that much and possibly even more for the kind of fight that is going to happen Saturday," said Jaimes, who is used to paying $50 or $60 for a PPV fight. "It is no-holds-barred pricing."

The showdown between the two top fighters, years in the making, is expected to smash pay-per-view records, both in terms of buys and revenue. Mayweather's defeat of Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 has the buy record of 2.48 million households, while his 2013 showdown with Canelo Alvarez has the revenue record of $152 million.

The pairing has also brought together rival networks HBO and Showtime to co-produce and co-distribute a boxing match. The only other time they have done so was when Mike Tyson fought Lennox Lewis in 2002.

"Given what we are seeing in the early ordering part is that this will be a very, very successful night," said Ken Hershman, president of HBO Sports.

Hershman, however, won't make projections, noting that they are working with "an untested retail price point" and they don't know how that will impact what he calls the "grouping phenomenon" of viewers.

Jaimes, for one, is probably fairly typical in that he is gathering with family and friends to watch the fight and they will likely split the cost. The standard broadcast costs $90, but high definition is the only way to watch boxing, he said.   Continued...

Eleven-time, five-division world boxing champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather (L) and eight-division world champion Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao pose at a news conference ahead of their upcoming bout, in Los Angeles, California March 11, 2015.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson