The boxing spectacle showdown between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather drew 6.7 million pay-per-view buys around the world, smashing the record set by Mayweather’s “Fight of the Century” in 2015 against Manny Pacquiao, UFC President Dana White told The Wall Street Journal’s “The Unnamed Podvideocast” (via Youtube).
That puts the overall TV revenue generated for the fight somewhere between $602,665,000 – the number if every buyer purchased a standard-definition broadcast at $89.95, which would be a highly unlikely scenario – and $669,665,000 if everyone paid $99.95 for the high-definition feed.
“We broke the record in Australia,” White said. “We broke the record in the U.K. at 4 in the morning, broke the record in Spain, Canada and the United States.”
Two months ago, White indicated the Aug. 26 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas had done 6.5 million PPV buys. But that was one week after the event; there was still money to be counted, apparently.
The event’s broadcaster, Showtime Networks, is so far on the record with a much more conservative estimate of domestic earnings. Stephen Espinoza, the premium cable network’s executive vice president and general manager, said the fight drew around 4.5 million buys, with a 10-15 percent bump possible for the final numbers.
Since then, Showtime hasn’t chimed in on multiple reports on the final number, or White’s previous claim. The premium cabel channel currently is trying to arbitrate multiple class-action lawsuits over a widespread outage of the event’s feed. MMAjunkie’s request for comment today went unanswered.
Even with all the technical difficulties encountered on fight night, White said the buzz surrounding the combat-sports blockbuster helped it break several records – even a few the promoters didn’t want to set.
“(It was the) most pirated fight of all time,” White said with a laugh. “(On) social media, it was the most talked about (event). It was the highest bet fight ever in the history of Las Vegas. Highest bet sporting event. Bigger than the Super Bowl.”
White noted the UFC polices PPV piracy, though he didn’t specify whether “The Money Fight” would spur a new wave of lawsuits directed at those who illegally viewed the event.
In any case, what started out as a social media squabble between Mayweather and McGregor turned into something bigger than anyone imagined.
For complete coverage of “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.
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