Monday, November 16, 2009

$82M seen from Pacquiao-Cotto pay-per-view

By Francis T.J. Ochoa
Philippine Daily Inquirer

LOS ANGELES—Do the math, start counting.

Manny Pacquiao is expecting yet another cash windfall after successfully making history following his 12th round technical knockout of Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand’s Garden Arena that looked more like a demolition job.

Pacquiao earned close to $13 million from his lion’s share of the purse and is expected to make much more from his fat slice of the pay-per-view (PPV) pie.

Experts are saying that the Pacquiao-Cotto bout could generate at least 1.5 million PPV buys, leading to a gross of $82,425,000, after taxes.

Pacquiao is again expected to get a huge share of that pie through his own promotional outfit, MP Promotions.

“The signs are good. We really won’t know until we get the preliminary results on pay-per-view sales on Wednesday,” said Top Rank chief Bob Arum, who promoted the fight dubbed “Firepower”.

Initial reports, however, indicated that the PPV hits for the Pacquiao-Cotto bout could exceed the 1 million buys reeled in by the fight that saw Floyd Mayweather Jr. outclass Juan Manuel Marquez in September.

“From every sign that we see, we know our goal of garnering more than one million pay-per-view buys is well within sight,” Mark Taffet, a vice president for HBO Sports, which beamed the fight on PPV, said earlier.

That could mean that Firepower will profit more since it was sold to homes on a higher price.

Mayweather-Marquez PPVs were sold at $49.95 each, while the Pacquiao-Cotto PPVs were sold for $54.95 each.

Huge demand

And despite the higher price, there was a big demand for an uninterrupted showing of the Pacquiao-Cotto bout.

“We’ve never had this experience with so many people ordering a fight,” a local New Jersey cable operator was quoted by Fighthype.com as saying hours before the clash. “This must be a big, big fight.”

Several cable operators were forced to turn away customers because they could not keep up with the demand, the report added. And these customers even filed complaints.

“We're sorry,” the New Jersey provider told customers. “We are just so overwhelmed with people trying to order this fight. So many people are trying to order it from their remote controls that it locked up the computer. It was processing so many orders, the computer was overwhelmed.”

Huge fan base

Aside from the profit it generates for the pound-for-pound champion, the PPV hits will play a crucial part in negotiations for next year’s highly anticipated superfight: Pacquiao vs Mayweather.

Richard Schaefer, whose Golden Boy Promotions partnered with Mayweather’s outfit for the Marquez bout, said Pacquiao-Cotto would have to exceed the PPV hits of Maywather-Marquez to prove that the Filipino could get at least half of the share of the purse.
Mayweather’s camp is asking for a 65-35 share in profits, something that Team Pacquiao is not amenable to, especially since the new welterweight champion is on a meteoric rise to stardom and commands a huge PPV-buying fan base.

Biggest pay day

Aside from the 16,200 fans that bought tickets to the Garden Arena for the Cotto fight, close to 18,000 also purchased closed-circuit TV seats to watch Pacquiao as he demolished the Puerto Rican after a slow start.

Cotto earned over $6 million for the fight, his biggest payday by far, and is expected to also get his own share of the PPV income.

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