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Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao smashes PPV record with 4.4 million buys

Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao
Photo: Esther Lin/Showtime

By Josh Nason, WrestlingObserver.com

If pay-per-view is dead, they didn't tell Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao.

HBO & Showtime announced Tuesday via press release that the "fight of the century" made a huge splash with the public by generating 4.4+ million U.S. buys and $400+ million in domestic revenue. Extended beyond the States, they said the event is expected to exceed half a billion dollars.

The previous records: 2.48 million buys (Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya in 2007) and $150 million (Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez in 2013).

In case you were living under a rock, Mayweather won a roundly panned 12-round unanimous decision that sparked talk of a rematch after news broke that Pacquiao went into the bout with an injured shoulder that required surgery. After initially agreeing to consider a 2016 rematch, Mayweather backed off last week and called Pacquiao a "coward". Money heals all wounds, though, and there's a lot to go around if the two hook up again with actual vitriol behind the promotion.


NEW YORK (May 12, 2015)—The boxing blockbuster event, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, shattered the previous record for total pay-per-view buys and now ranks as the highest-grossing pay-per-view of all time.  Initial reports from distributors indicate that the event generated more than 4.4 million U.S. buys and more than $400 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue alone.  With additional revenue from the live gate at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, international television distribution, sponsorships, closed circuit and merchandise sales, the event is expected to generate in excess of $500 million in gross worldwide receipts.  The news was announced jointly by Showtime Networks Inc., a subsidiary of CBS Corporation, and HBO in conjunction with event promoters Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank, Inc.

The welterweight world championship unification bout nearly doubled the previous record of 2.48 million buys generated by the Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing event in 2007 and nearly tripled the record $150 million in U.S. pay-per-view revenue generated by Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez in 2013. 

Live gate receipts for the star-studded event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena produced more than $71 million in revenue, dramatically eclipsing the previous live gate record of $20 million (for Mayweather vs. Canelo) for both the sport of boxing and Las Vegas. 

Additionally, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao set the record for closed circuit admissions and revenue both in Las Vegas and at establishments nationwide.  The event sold nearly 46,000 closed circuit admissions at MGM Resorts International properties in Las Vegas alone and was available at more than 5,000 bars, restaurants and commercial establishments throughout the U.S.  

Distributed in 175 countries worldwide, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was available in essentially 75 percent of the world’s territories, setting the revenue record for international distribution.

As reported last week, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao drew enormous numbers on social media.  For example, Facebook reported that 37 million unique people contributed more than 115 million interactions from the start of the event to 30 minutes following its completion, a new record for a boxing event. 

The May 2 promotion included unprecedented marketing and cross-promotional support from distributors as well as record revenue from the event’s major sponsors.