The UFC tallied nearly 700,000 pay-per-view buys Saturday (UFC 249) at $65 a piece generating upward of $45 million. This sounds wrong in the middle of a pandemic, with 15% of U.S. citizens suffering unemployment.
Top Rank boss Bob Arum is advocating boxing to drop its PPV pricing to as low as $40.
“We have to be very careful when we start doing events again and watch the prices, especially now with coronavirus because people will not watch fights in big groups in their homes like they did before,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “PPV pricing has to be lower. Particularly because more of the buys are going to shift to digital.”
“The population in the U.S. is used to watching PPVs in groups and everybody chipping in. It’s not affordable to the normal person to pay $80 to $100 and watch an event. It’s a lot of money.”
Arum staged the last PPV fight in boxing in Tyson Fury’s win over Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas in an unprecedented Fox and ESPN co-promotion priced at $79.99.
“PPV is so successful in a region like the United Kingdom that is nowhere near the size of the U.S. They do over one million PPV buys. But look at the prices — it’s 20 to 25 pounds (nearly $25 to $31 in American currency). Twenty percent of that goes to the government, but that’s more affordable.”