Pay-per-view

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Pay-per-view (PPV) is a type of pay television or webcast service by which a viewer can purchase events to view via private telecast. The broadcaster shows the event at the same time to everyone ordering it.

Contents

Events can be purchased through a multichannel television platform using their electronic program guide, an automated telephone system, or through a live customer service representative. There has been an increasing number of pay-per-views distributed via streaming video online, either alongside or in lieu of carriage through television providers. In 2012, the popular video sharing service YouTube began to allow partners to host live PPV events on the platform. [1]

Events distributed through PPV typically include combat sports events such as boxing and mixed martial arts (focusing primarily on cards that include one or more significant title fights), sports entertainment such as professional wrestling, and concerts. In the past, PPV was often used to distribute telecasts of feature films, as well as adult content such as pornographic films, but the growth of digital cable and streaming media caused these use cases to be subsumed by video on demand systems (which allow viewers to purchase and view pre-recorded content at any time) instead, leaving PPV to focus primarily on live event programs and combat sports.

History

The earliest form of pay-per-view was closed-circuit television, also known as theatre television, where professional boxing telecasts were broadcast live to a select a number of venues, mostly theaters, where viewers paid for tickets to watch the fight live. [2] [3] The first fight with a closed-circuit telecast was Joe Louis vs. Jersey Joe Walcott in 1948. [4] Closed-circuit telecasts peaked in popularity with Muhammad Ali in the 1960s and 1970s, [2] [3] with "The Rumble in the Jungle" fight drawing 50 million buys worldwide in 1974, [5] and the "Thrilla in Manila" drawing 100 million buys worldwide in 1975. [6] Closed-circuit television was gradually replaced by pay-per-view home television in the 1980s and 1990s. [3]

United States

The Zenith Phonevision system became the first home pay-per-view system to be tested in the United States. Developed in 1951, it used telephone lines to take and receive orders, as well as to descramble a television broadcast signal. The field tests conducted for Phonevision lasted for 90 days and were tested in Chicago, Illinois. The system used IBM punch cards to descramble a signal broadcast during the broadcast station's "off-time". Both systems showed promise, but the Federal Communications Commission denied them the permits to operate. [7]

One of the earliest pay-per-view systems on cable television, the Optical Systems-developed Channel 100, first began service in 1972 in San Diego, California through Mission Cable [8] (which was later acquired by Cox Communications) and TheaterVisioN, which operated out of Sarasota, Florida. These early systems quickly went out of business, as the cable industry adopted satellite technology and as flat-rate pay television services such as Home Box Office (HBO) became popular.

While most pay-per-view services were delivered via cable, there were a few over-the-air pay TV stations that offered pay-per-view broadcasts in addition to regularly scheduled broadcasts of movies and other entertainment. These stations, which operated for a few years in Chicago, Los Angeles and some other cities, broadcast "scrambled" signals that required descrambler devices to convert the signal into standard broadcast format. These services were marketed as ON-TV.

Professional boxing during 1960s1970s

The first home pay-per-view cable television broadcast was the Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson rematch in 1960, when 25,000 TelePrompTer subscribers mailed $2 to watch Patterson regain the heavyweight title. [9] The third PattersonJohansson match in 1961 was later viewed by 100,000 paid cable subscribers. [10] Muhammad Ali had several fights on early pay-per-view home television, including Cassius Clay vs. Doug Jones in 1963, [11] and Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston [12] which drew 250,000 buys on cable television in 1964. [13]

Professional boxing was largely introduced to pay-per-view cable television with the "Thrilla in Manila" fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in September 1975. The fight sold 500,000 pay-per-view buys on HBO. [14] There was also another major title fight aired on pay-per-view in 1980, when Roberto Durán defeated Sugar Ray Leonard. Cable companies offered the match for $10, and about 155,000 customers paid to watch the fight. [15] [16]

1980s2000s

A major pay-per-view event[ citation needed ] occurred on September 16, 1981, when Sugar Ray Leonard fought Thomas "Hitman" Hearns for the World Welterweight Championship. Viacom Cablevision in Nashville, Tennessee – the first system to offer the event – saw over 50 percent of its subscriber base purchase the fight.[ citation needed ] Leonard visited Nashville to promote the fight, and the event proved such a success that Viacom themed its annual report for that year around it.[ citation needed ] Viacom marketing director Pat Thompson put together the fight, and subsequently put together additional PPV fights, wrestling matches, and even a televised Broadway play.[ citation needed ]

After leaving Viacom, Thompson became head of Sports View and produced the first pay-per-view football game on October 16, 1983: a college football game between the University of Tennessee and the University of Alabama from Birmingham, Alabama.[ citation needed ] Sports View played a role in building pay-per-view networks,[ citation needed ] and became the early pioneer in developing TigerVision for Louisiana State University, TideVision for Alabama and UT Vol Seat for Tennessee. Sports View also produced the Ohio State-Michigan football game for pay-per-view in November 1983.

In 1985, the first pay-per-view cable channels in the United States – Viewer's Choice (now In Demand), Cable Video Store, First Choice and Request TV – began operation within days of each other.[ citation needed ] Viewer's Choice serviced both home satellite dish and cable customers, while Request TV, though broadcasting to cable viewers, would not become available to satellite subscribers until the 1990s.[ citation needed ] First Choice PPV was available on Rogers Cablesystems in the United States and Canada. After Paragon Cable acquired the Rogers Cablesystems franchise in San Antonio, Texas, First Choice continued to be carried until Time Warner Cable bought Paragon in 1996. In the United States, pay-per-view broadcasters transmit without advertisements, similar to conventional flat-rate pay television services.

The term "pay-per-view" did not come into general use until the late 1980s[ citation needed ] when companies such as Viewer's Choice, HBO and Showtime started using the system to show movies and some of their productions. Viewer's Choice carried movies, concerts and other events, with live sporting events such as WrestleMania being the most predominant programming. Prices ranged from $3.99 to $49.99, while HBO and Showtime, with their event production legs TVKO and SET Pay Per View, would offer championship boxing matches ranging from $14.99 to $54.99.[ citation needed ]

ESPN later began to broadcast college football and basketball games on pay-per-view through its services ESPN GamePlan and ESPN Full Court, which were eventually sold as full-time out-of-market sports packages.[ citation needed ] The boxing undercard Latin Fury, shown on June 28, 2003, became ESPN's first boxing card on pay-per-view and also the first pay-per-view boxing card held in Puerto Rico.[ citation needed ] Pay-per-view has provided a revenue stream for professional wrestling circuits such as WWE, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling (AEW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Ring of Honor (ROH) and Lucha Libre AAA World Wide (AAA).

WWE chairman and chief executive officer Vince McMahon is considered by many as one of the icons of pay-per-view promotion. McMahon owns the domain name payperview.com, which redirects to the WWE Network website. [17]

With the rise of direct broadcast satellite services in the 1990s, this meant more services exclusively for DBS users appeared. DirecTV had Direct Ticket (which, in addition to movies and special events, also included PPV sports packages, most notably NFL Sunday Ticket), while Dish Network had Dish On Demand. PrimeStar, on the other hand, utilized pre-existing services like Viewer's Choice and Request TV (as it was owned by a number of major cable providers), though promotional material bannered all PPV services under the name of PrimeCinema.

HBO PPV (professional boxing)

In 2006, HBO generated 3.7 million pay-per-view buys with $177 million in gross sales. The only year with more buys previously, 1999, had a total of 4 million. The former record fell in 2007 when HBO sold 4.8 million PPV buys with $255 million in sales. [18] BY 2014, HBO had generated 59.3 million buys and $3.1 billion in revenue since its 1991 debut with Evander Holyfield-George Foreman. [19]

1999 differed radically from 2006: 1999 saw four major fight cards: De La Hoya-Trinidad (1.4 million buys), Holyfield-Lewis I (1.2 million), Holyfield-Lewis II (850,000) and De La Hoya-Quartey (570,000). By contrast, only one pay-per-view mega-fight took place in 2006: De La Hoya-Mayorga (925,000 buys). Rahman-Maskaev bombed with under 50,000. The other eight PPV cards that year all fell in the 325,000–450,000 range. Pay-per-view fights in that range almost always generate more money for the promoter and fighters than HBO wants to pay for an HBO World Championship Boxing license-fee.[ citation needed ]

In May 2007, the super-welterweight boxing match between Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. on HBO PPV became the biggest-selling non-heavyweight title fight, with a little more than 2.5 million buyers. [20] The fight itself generated roughly $139 million in domestic PPV revenue, making it the most lucrative prizefight of that era. The record stood until 2015 before it was broken by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao in a fight dubbed as the "Fight of the Century" on May 2, 2015 which generated 4.6 million ppv buys and a revenue of over $400 million. [21]

The leading PPV attraction, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has generated approximately 24 million buys and $1.6 billion in revenue. Manny Pacquiao, ranked second, has generated approximately 20.1 million buys and $1.2 billion in revenue. [22] [23] Oscar De La Hoya, has "sold" approximately 14 million units in total, giving $700 million in domestic television receipts and stands third. In fourth place in buys, Evander Holyfield has achieved 12.6 million units ($550 million); and at fifth, Mike Tyson has reached 12.4 million units ($545 million). [24]

Ross Greenburg, then president of HBO Sports, called the expansion of pay-per-view "the biggest economic issue in boxing", stating "I can't tell you that pay-per-view helps the sport because it doesn't. It hurts the sport because it narrows our audience, but it's a fact of life. Every time we try to make an HBO World Championship Boxing fight, we're up against mythical pay-per-view numbers. HBO doesn't make a lot of money from pay-per-view. There's usually a cap on what we can make. But the promoters and fighters insist on pay-per-view because that's where their greatest profits lie." [25]

"It's a big problem," Greenburg continues. "It's getting harder and harder to put fighters like Manny Pacquiao on HBO World Championship Boxing. If Floyd Mayweather beats Oscar, he might never fight on HBO World Championship Boxing again. But if HBO stopped doing pay-per-view, the promoters would simply do it on their own [like Bob Arum did with Cotto-Malignaggi in June 2006] or find someone else who will do it for them." [25]

Former HBO Sports President Seth Abraham concurs, saying, "I think, if Lou (DiBella) and I were still at HBO, we'd be in the same pickle as far as the exodus of fights to pay-per-view is concerned." [26]

Ultimate Fighting Championship

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a mixed martial arts promotion, was a relative newcomer to the PPV market. However, the promotion experienced a surge in popularity in the mid-2000s, credited initially to the popularity of an associated reality show on the cable channel Spike, The Ultimate Fighter . UFC 52—the first UFC event since its premiere, broke the promotion's record with almost 300,000 buys (in comparison to 250,000 for UFC 5). [27] [28] PPV numbers escalated further in 2006, with its events taking in a gross revenue of $222 million. [29] In October 2016, it was reported that 42% of the UFC's "content revenue" in 2015 came from pay-per-view buys, followed by U.S. and international media rights.

In 2018, UFC 229 would pull an all-time record for the promotion, with estimates indicating that the event attracted nearly 2.4 million buys, breaking the 1.65 million buy record set by UFC 202. [30]

In March 2019, as part of a larger contract with ESPN for media rights in the United States, it was announced that future UFC pay-per-views will only be sold to subscribers of the network's streaming service ESPN+. [31]

Professional wrestling

Professional wrestling has a long history of running pay-per-view events. WWE (then WWF) launched its first pay-per-view event in 1985 with its annual flagship event WrestleMania and has run numerous others throughout the years. Although it still offers its events via traditional PPV outlets, they have also been included at no additional charge as part of a larger, subscription-based streaming service known as WWE Network, which as of 2021 is now a part of the NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock in the United States. The service also includes original programming (such as documentary-style series and other wrestling programs) and an on-demand archive of events and television episodes from WWE's library. Following WrestleMania 34, the service had 2.12 million subscribers. [32] [33] Other major organizations such as World Championship Wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and All Elite Wrestling have also run pay-per-view events.

Concerts

In 2009, the live streaming Broadcast of The Allman Brothers Band 40th Anniversary show, live from the Beacon Theater in NYC, was the largest on line pay per view streaming concert event, grossing in excess of $300,000. The event was produced by Onstream Media for Moogis.com. [34]

In 2015, PPV broadcasts of the Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead tour set a record for buys for a music event, with over 400,000. [35]

United Kingdom and Ireland

Viewers in the United Kingdom and Ireland can access pay-per-view via satellite, cable and over-the-internet television services, mainly for films, boxing, mixed martial arts and American professional wrestling via services such as Sky Box Office and BT Sport Box Office. The last couple of years has seen the number of pay-per-view boxing events significantly increase and currently all of the UK's top fights are only available via pay-per-view. Broadcasters (most notably PremPlus) have abandoned their aspirations to introduce PPV into other sports market due to poor interest from the public.

In October 2020 during the 2020-21 season, the Premier League experimented with PPV telecasts of football matches not selected for broadcasts by its main rightsholders (which are usually blacked out 3:00 p.m. kickoffs, amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, which prevents any attendance of the matches). However, the matches proved unpopular, with team supporters' groups urging fans to make donations to charity instead, and the Premier League announcing that it would allocate the extra matches among its existing rightsholders (BT and Sky, as well as Amazon Prime Video and BBC Sport, with some on free-to-air TV) through at least the end of 2020, as it had done during the conclusion of the previous season. [36] [37] [38] [39]

Canada

In Canada, most specialty television providers provide pay-per-view programming through one or more services. In all cases, prices typically range from around C$4.99 (for movies) up to $50 or more for special events.

Initially, there were three major PPV providers in Canada; Viewers Choice operated in Eastern Canada as a joint venture of Astral Media, Rogers Communications, and TSN. Western International Communications operated a separate service in the west initially known as Home Theatre; it was later rebranded as Viewers Choice under license.

Viewers Choice Canada was a partner in a French-language PPV service known as Canal Indigo, which is now entirely owned by Videotron. Bell Canada launched a PPV service for its ExpressVu television provider known as Vu! in 1999.

Home Theatre was later acquired by Shaw Communications; after gaining permission to operate nationally, it re-branded as a white-label PPV known internally as Shaw PPV in December 2007. In 2014, due to Bell Media's majority ownership of Viewers Choice because of its acquisition of Astral, and because both Bell and Rogers now ran their own in-house PPV operations (Vu! and Sportsnet PPV), Viewers Choice was shut down. [40]

Mainland Europe

In Romania, cable communications operator UPC Romania has notified the National Audiovisual Council (CNA) on the intention to introduce in January, February 2014 at the latest, an on-demand audiovisual media service called Agerpres. According to the manager of UPC Romania-owned Smaranda Radoi UPC, will allow customers to watch movies on demand or live events; as well as broadcasts of performances, concerts and sporting events.

In November 2008, pay-per-view made its debut in Albania through Digitalb on terrestrial and satellite television, with the channel DigiGold. [41]

In France, launched in the late 1990s, Canalsat (Ciné+) and TPS (Multivision) operate their own pay-per-view service. While CanalSat holds the rights to live soccer matches for France's Ligue 1, TPS had the rights for Boxe matches. In 2007, Multivision service ceased by the end of TPS service which merged with Canalsat. Nowadays, Ciné+ is the only existing pay-per-view service in France.

In Croatia, Fight Channel is broadcasting martial arts events organized by the world's most prominent fighting organizations, such as the UFC, K-1, HBO Boxing, Dream, Glory WS, World Series of Boxing etc. and its pay-per-view service covers the Balkans region.

Sky Deutschland, accessible in Germany, Austria and partially in Switzerland, provided nine PPV-Channels called "Sky Select", where their regular Pay-TV customers can see movies or various sports events such as boxing or soccer. [42] As of 1. October 2020 only sport and wrestling events remained on PPV as movies were changed towards a streaming service. [43]

South America

Per nations with Pay-Per-View or PPV system in South América:

In Argentina, Torneos y Competencias is a producer and sports events organization that are broadcasts live main matches of Argentine Soccer in four categories on TyC Sports, TyC Max (six channels), TyC Sports 2, TyC Sports 4 and TyC Sports 5.

In Brazil, in the soccer main matches of Serie A (Six games per matchday) and Serie B (Four games per matchday) in two categories of Brazilian Soccer are broadcast live on Premiere FC and SporTV. The Serie C Championship are broadcast live on SporTV with two games per matchday in Pay TV. In other sports are broadcast live on NBB TV (Exclusive channel of Brazilian Basketball League in Premium system).

In Chile, the exclusive rights of Chilean Soccer are owned by TV Fútbol and broadcast live on a channel called Canal Del Fútbol (The Soccer Channel), also known CDF . Sports Field S.A. has exclusive rights to games on the Chilean professional basketball league, which are broadcast live vía CDO (Premium Signal).

In Paraguay, the Teledeportes producer business have exclusive rights to broadcast live main matches of Paraguayan Soccer in four categories vía Tigo Max and Tigo Sports. Teledeportes have live broadcast live of Paraguayan Basketball League is are broadcast live Tuesday at 9:00 pm on Tigo Sports (K.O 21:15) and Wednesday at 8:55 pm on Tigo Max (K.O 21:10).

In Uruguay, the Tenfield producer business and sports events organization have television exclusive rights for the Uruguayan soccer and basketball club championships, which are broadcast on VTV and VTV Plus.

Australia and the Pacific Islands

Foxtel and Optus Vision introduced pay-per-view direct to home television in Australia in the mid-to-late 1990s. Foxtel had Event TV (until it transformed into its current form; Main Event) while, Optus Vision had Main Attraction Pay-Per-View as its provider. As of 2005, Main Event is the current pay-per-view provider through Foxtel and Optus cable/satellite subscription.

Sky Pacific started a service in Fiji in 2005 and then expanded into American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati (East), Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, with one, out of their 25 channels, being Pay-Per-View. [44]

Asia

In Malaysia, Astro's Astro Box Office service launched in 2000 in the form of the free-to-air "Astro Showcase".

In Japan, SkyPerfecTV subscribers can receive one-click pay-per-view access to hundreds of channels supplying domestic and international sporting events (including WWE events), movies, and specialty programming, either live or later on continuous repeat on its channel.

In India a pay-per-view service operates; however, pay-per-view sports broadcasts are available. Now also live events like WWE.[ citation needed ]

List of pay-per-view bouts

Boxing

Worldwide

The following is a list of boxing fights that have generated over 1 million pay-per-view buys worldwide. These figures include closed-circuit theatre television (CCTV), pay-per-view home television (PPV), and pay-per-view online streaming (iPPV).

   — Fights which held the worldwide record in terms of sales and/or revenue
DateFightNetwork(s)SalesRevenue (est.)Revenue (est. inflation)
March 8, 1971 Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
2,590,000 [45] [46] $45,750,000 [47] [48] $300,000,000
October 30, 1974 Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
50,000,000 [5] $100,000,000 [49] [50] $500,000,000
October 1, 1975 Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
  • HBO
100,000,000 [6] $100,000,000$500,000,000
September 27, 1976 Muhammad Ali vs. Ken Norton III
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
1,500,000 [51] $33,500,000 [52] [53] $150,000,000
June 20, 1980 Roberto Durán vs. Sugar Ray Leonard
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
  • HBO
1,655,000 [54] [15] $30,000,000 [55] $90,000,000
June 11, 1982 Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
2,000,000 [56] $20,000,000 [3] $50,000,000
April 6, 1987 Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
  • HBO
3,150,000 [3] $60,000,000 [57] $140,000,000
June 27, 1988 Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
  • HBO
1,500,000 [58] [59] $70,000,000 [57] $150,000,000
April 19, 1991 Evander Holyfield vs. George Foreman
  • HBO
1,400,000 [60] $75,000,000 [61] $140,000,000
June 28, 1991 Mike Tyson vs. Donovan Ruddock II 1,250,000 [62] $49,142,000 [63] [64] $90,000,000
August 19, 1995 Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley
  • Showtime
1,600,000 [65] $110,000,000 [66] [67] $180,000,000
March 16, 1996 Frank Bruno vs. Mike Tyson II 2,060,000 [65] [68] $98,000,000 [69] $162,000,000
September 7, 1996 Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon
  • Showtime
1,150,000 [60] $63,810,000 [65] $105,000,000
November 9, 1996 Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield
  • Showtime
1,600,000 [65] $94,200,000 [65] $160,000,000
June 28, 1997 Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield II
  • Showtime
  • Sky Box Office
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
2,670,000 [3] [70] [71] $180,000,000 [72] $290,000,000
September 18, 1999 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Félix Trinidad
  • HBO
1,400,000 [60] $74,100,000 [73] $120,000,000
June 8, 2002 Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson
  • HBO
  • Showtime
  • Sky Box Office
2,720,000 [60] [74] $112,000,000 [75] $161,000,000
May 5, 2007 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
  • HBO
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
2,450,000 [60] [76] $165,000,000 [77] $200,000,000
December 8, 2007 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton
  • HBO
  • Sky Box Office
2,400,000 [78] $134,000,000 [78] $170,000,000
December 6, 2008 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao
  • HBO
1,250,000 [60] $100,000,000 [77] $120,000,000
May 2, 2009 Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton
  • HBO
  • Sky Box Office
1,750,000 [79] [80] $80,200,000 [lower-alpha 1] $96,000,000
September 19, 2009 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Márquez
  • HBO
1,060,000 [81] $58,810,000 [82] $71,000,000
November 14, 2009 Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto
  • HBO
1,250,000 [83] $78,850,000 [84] $95,000,000
May 1, 2010 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Shane Mosley
  • HBO
1,400,000 [60] $89,330,000 [85] [67] $106,000,000
November 13, 2010 Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito
  • HBO
1,150,000 [86] $69,400,000 [87] $80,000,000
May 7, 2011 Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley
  • Showtime
1,340,000 [88] $83,900,000 [89] $97,000,000
September 17, 2011 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Victor Ortiz
  • HBO
1,250,000 [90] $87,440,000 [91] [67] $101,000,000
November 13, 2011 Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez III
  • HBO
1,400,000 [92] $88,580,000 [93] [67] $100,000,000
May 5, 2012 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto
  • HBO
1,500,000 [94] $94,000,000 [66] $106,000,000
December 8, 2012 Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez IV
  • HBO
1,150,000 [95] $80,400,000 [96] $90,000,000
September 14, 2013 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Canelo Álvarez
  • Showtime
2,200,000 [97] $150,000,000 [21] $170,000,000
May 2, 2015 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao
  • HBO
  • Showtime
  • Sky Box Office
  • Closed-circuit theatre TV
5,773,000 [98] [99] [100] $500,000,000 [101] $500,000,000
April 29, 2017 Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko
  • Sky Box Office
1,631,000 [102] [103] $64,000,000 [104] $64,000,000
August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor
  • Showtime
  • Sky Box Office
5,174,000$500,000,000 [105] $500,000,000
September 16, 2017 Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin
  • HBO
1,300,000 [106] $100,000,000 [106] $100,000,000
March 31, 2018 Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker
  • Sky Box Office
1,832,000 [107] [103] $56,000,000 [108] [109] $60,000,000
August 25, 2018 KSI vs. Logan Paul 1,300,000 [110] $16,500,000 [111] [112] $16,500,000
Sep 15, 2018 Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II
  • HBO
1,100,000 [113] $117,000,000 [113] $117,000,000
Sep 22, 2018 Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin
  • Sky Box Office
1,247,000 [114] [103] $52,000,000 [115] [116] [109] $53,000,000
December 7, 2019 Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua II
  • Sky Box Office
1,575,000 [117]
February 22, 2020 Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury II 1,200,000 [118] $112,900,000 [119]
December 5, 2020 Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. 1,600,000 [120] $80,000,000 [120] $80,000,000 [120]

United States (closed-circuit theatre TV)

Select boxing buy rates at American closed-circuit theatre television venues between 1951 and 2015:

   — Fights which held the US closed-circuit sales record in terms of buys and/or revenue
DateFightBuysRevenueRevenue (inflation)
June 15, 1951 Joe Louis vs. Lee Savold 81,022 [121] $100,000 [122] $1,000,000
September 12, 1951 Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Randolph Turpin II100,000 [123] $200,000 [123] $1,990,000
September 23, 1952 Rocky Marciano vs. Joe Walcott 40,000 [124] $192,000 [125] $1,870,000
September 21, 1955 Rocky Marciano vs. Archie Moore 300,000 [126] $1,125,000 [127] $10,870,000
September 23, 1957 Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Carmen Basilio 500,000 [128] $1,750,000 [129] $13,820,000
March 25, 1958 Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Carmen Basilio II400,000 [130] $2,000,000 [131] $17,940,000
August 18, 1958 Floyd Patterson vs. Roy Harris 192,762 [132] $763,437 [132] $6,780,000
June 26, 1959 Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson 244,000 [133] $1,032,000 [133] $9,160,000
June 20, 1960 Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson II500,000 [134] $3,000,000 [135] $26,240,000
March 13, 1961 Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson III500,000 [136] $2,500,000 [136] $21,650,000
September 25, 1962 Floyd Patterson vs. Sonny Liston 600,000 [137] $3,200,000 [45] $27,380,000
March 13, 1963 Cassius Clay vs. Doug Jones 150,000 [138] $500,000 [11] $4,230,000
July 22, 1963 Floyd Patterson vs. Sonny Liston II563,000 [45] $4,747,690 [139] $40,620,000
February 25, 1964 Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston 700,000 [140] $5,000,000 [140] $41,700,000
January 2, 1965 Floyd Patterson vs. George Chuvalo 300,000 [141] $800,000 [142] $6,570,000
May 25, 1965 Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston II 630,000 [143] $4,300,000 [2] $35,310,000
November 22, 1965 Muhammad Ali vs. Floyd Patterson 500,000 [144] $4,000,000 [2] $32,800,000
November 14, 1966 Muhammad Ali vs. Cleveland Williams 500,000 [145] $3,750,000 [145] $30,800,000
February 6, 1967 Muhammad Ali vs. Ernie Terrell 800,000 [146] $4,000,000 [146] $31,910,000
October 26, 1970 Muhammad Ali vs. Jerry Quarry 630,000 [147] [148] $3,500,000 [149] $23,320,000
March 8, 1971 Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier 2,500,000 [45] $45,000,000 [47] $288,000,000
October 30, 1974 Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman 3,000,000 [3] $60,000,000 [3] $310,000,000
October 1, 1975 Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III 3,000,000 [3] $60,000,000 [3] $300,000,000
September 27, 1976 Muhammad Ali vs. Ken Norton III 1,500,000 [51] $30,000,000 [52] $140,000,000
Jun 20, 1980 Roberto Durán vs. Sugar Ray Leonard 1,500,000 [54] $22,000,000 [150] $69,100,000
June 11, 1982 Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney 2,000,000 [56] $20,000,000 [3] $53,630,000
April 15, 1985 Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns 700,000 [151] $10,500,000 [152] $25,270,000
April 6, 1987 Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler 3,000,000 [3] $40,000,000 [153] $91,120,000
June 27, 1988 Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks 800,000 [58] $32,000,000 [58] $70,020,000
June 28, 1997 Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson II 120,000 [71] $9,000,000 [3] $14,510,000
May 5, 2007 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. 50,000 [76] $2,750,000 [154] $3,430,000
May 2, 2015 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao 173,000 [100] $25,900,000 [100] $28,280,000

United States (PPV home television)

Select PPV boxing buy-rates (mainly from HBO, Showtime and Top Rank) between 1960 and 2020:

   — Fights which held the US sales record on PPV home television
DateFightResultCarrierBuy rate
June 20, 1960 Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson IIPatterson wins by KO in round 5 TelePrompTer 25,000 [9]
March 13, 1961 Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson IIIPatterson wins by KO in round 6TelePrompTer100,000 [10]
September 25, 1962 Floyd Patterson vs. Sonny Liston Liston wins by KO in round 1TelePrompTer100,000 [155]
February 25, 1964 Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston Ali wins by RTD in round 6 WHCT [12] 250,000 [13]
Oct 1, 1975 Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III Ali wins by TKO in round 14 HBO 500,000 [14]
Jun 20, 1980 Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Durán Durán wins by UD (145-144, 148-147, 146-144)HBO155,000 [15]
Sep 16, 1981 Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns Leonard wins by TKO in round 14HBO583,200 [156]
Apr 15, 1985 Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns Hagler wins by TKO in round 3HBO100,000 [151]
Apr 6, 1987 Marvin Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard Leonard wins by SD (118-110, 113-115, 115-113)HBO150,000 [3]
Jun 27, 1988 Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks Tyson wins by KO in round 1HBO700,000 [59]
Nov 7, 1988 Donny Lalonde vs. Sugar Ray Leonard Leonard wins by TKO in round 9HBO700,000 [157]
Oct 25, 1990 Buster Douglas vs. Evander Holyfield Holyfield wins by KO in round 3 Showtime 1,000,000 [59]
March 18, 1991 Mike Tyson vs. Donovan Ruddock Tyson wins by TKO in round 7Showtime960,000 [158]
Apr 19, 1991 Evander Holyfield vs. George Foreman Holyfield wins by UD (116–111, 117–110, 115–112)HBO1,400,000 [60]
Jun 28, 1991 Mike Tyson vs. Donovan Ruddock II Tyson wins by UD (113–109, 114–108, 114–108)Showtime1,250,000 [62]
Oct 18, 1991 Ray Mercer vs. Tommy Morrison Mercer wins by KO in round 5HBO200,000 [159]
Jun 19, 1992 Evander Holyfield vs. Larry Holmes Holyfield wins by UD (117–111, 116–112, 116–112)HBO730,000 [160]
Nov 13, 1992 Evander Holyfield vs. Riddick Bowe Bowe wins by UD (117–110, 117–110, 115–112)HBO900,000 [161]
Jun 7, 1993 George Foreman vs. Tommy Morrison Morrison wins by UD (117–110, 117–110, 118–108)HBO600,000 [162]
Sep 10, 1993 Pernell Whitaker vs. Julio César Chávez Majority draw (115–113, 115–115, 115–115)Showtime740,000 [163]
Nov 6, 1993 Riddick Bowe vs. Evander Holyfield II Holyfield wins by MD (115–113, 115–114, 114–114)HBO950,000 [164]
Nov 18, 1994 James Toney vs. Roy Jones Jr. Jones Jr. wins by UD (119–108, 118–109, 117–110)HBO300,000 [165]
May 6, 1995 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Rafael Ruelas De La Hoya wins by TKO in round 2HBO330,000 [166]
Aug 19, 1995 Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley Tyson wins by DQ in round 1Showtime1,600,000 [65]
Nov 4, 1995 Riddick Bowe vs. Evander Holyfield III Bowe wins by TKO in round 8HBO650,000 [167]
Mar 16, 1996 Frank Bruno vs. Mike Tyson II Tyson wins by TKO in round 3Showtime1,400,000 [65]
Sep 7, 1996 Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon Tyson wins by TKO in round 1Showtime1,150,000 [60]
Nov 9, 1996 Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield Holyfield wins by TKO in round 11Showtime1,600,000 [65]
Apr 12, 1997 Pernell Whitaker vs. Oscar De La Hoya De La Hoya wins by UD (115–111, 116–110, 116–110)HBO720,000 [168]
Jun 28, 1997 Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield II Holyfield wins by DQ in round 3Showtime1,990,000 [60]
Sep 13, 1997 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Héctor Camacho De La Hoya wins by UD (120–106, 120–105, 118–108)HBO560,000 [168]
Oct 4, 1997 Lennox Lewis vs. Andrew Golota Lewis wins by KO in round 1HBO300,000 [169]
Nov 8, 1997 Evander Holyfield vs. Michael Moorer II Holyfield wins by RTD in round 8Showtime550,000 [170]
Jan 16, 1999 Mike Tyson vs. Francois Botha Tyson wins by KO in round 5Showtime750,000 [171]
Mar 13, 1999 Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox Lewis Split draw (116–113, 113–115, 115–115)HBO1,200,000 [172]
Sep 18, 1999 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Félix Trinidad Trinidad wins by MD (115–113, 115–114, 114–114)HBO1,400,000 [60]
Nov 13, 1999 Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox Lewis II Lewis wins by UD (116–112, 117–111, 115–113)HBO850,000 [172]
Apr 29, 2000 Lennox Lewis vs. Michael Grant Lewis wins by KO in round 2HBO340,000 [172]
Jun 17, 2000 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Shane Mosley Mosley wins by SD (116–112, 115–113, 113–115)HBO590,000 [168]
Sep 9, 2000 Roy Jones Jr. vs. Eric Harding Jones Jr. wins by RTD in round 10HBO125,000 [173]
Oct 20, 2000 Mike Tyson vs. Andrew Golota Tyson wins by TKO in round 3 (later changed to an NC)Showtime450,000 [174]
Nov 11, 2000 Lennox Lewis vs. David Tua Lewis wins by UD (119–109, 118–110, 117–111)HBO420,000 [172]
Mar 3, 2001 Evander Holyfield vs. John Ruiz II Ruiz wins by UD (116–110, 115–111, 114–111)Showtime185,000 [175]
Apr 7, 2001 Naseem Hamed vs. Marco Antonio Barrera Barrera wins by UD (116–111, 115–112, 115–112)HBO310,000 [176]
Jun 8, 2001 Laila Ali vs. Jacqui Frazier-Lyde Ali wins by MD (73–79, 75–77, 76–76)?125,000 [177]
Nov 17, 2001 Hasim Rahman vs. Lennox Lewis II Lewis wins by KO in round 4HBO460,000 [178]
Jun 8, 2002 Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson Lewis wins by KO in round 8HBO/Showtime1,970,000 [60]
Sep 14, 2002 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Fernando Vargas De La Hoya wins by TKO in round 11HBO935,000 [168]
Feb 22, 2003 Mike Tyson vs. Clifford Etienne Tyson wins by KO in round 1Showtime100,000 [175]
Mar 1, 2003 John Ruiz vs. Roy Jones Jr. Jones Jr. wins by UD (118–110, 117–111, 116–112)HBO525,000 [175]
Sep 13, 2003 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Shane Mosley II Mosley wins by UD (113–115, 113–115, 113–115)HBO950,000 [168]
Oct 4, 2003 James Toney vs. Evander Holyfield Toney wins by TKO in round 9Showtime150,000 [179]
Nov 8, 2003 Antonio Tarver vs. Roy Jones Jr. Jones Jr. wins by MD (117–111, 116–112, 114–114)HBO302,000 [180]
May 15, 2004 Roy Jones Jr. vs. Antonio Tarver II Tarver wins by KO in round 2HBO360,000 [181]
Sep 18, 2004 Bernard Hopkins vs. Oscar De La Hoya Hopkins wins by KO in round 9HBO1,000,000 [168]
Dec 11, 2004 Vitali Klitschko vs. Danny Williams Klitschko wins by TKO in round 8HBO120,000 [182]
Mar 19, 2005 Érik Morales vs. Manny Pacquiao Morales wins by UD (115–113, 115–113, 115–113)HBO345,000 [183]
Jun 11, 2005 Mike Tyson vs. Kevin McBride McBride wins by TKO in round 7Showtime250,000 [184]
Jun 25, 2005 Arturo Gatti vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mayweather Jr. wins by RTD in round 6HBO340,000 [183]
Oct 1, 2005 Antonio Tarver vs. Roy Jones Jr. III Tarver wins by UD (117–111, 116–112, 116–112)HBO405,000 [185]
Jan 21, 2006 Manny Pacquiao vs Érik Morales IIPacquiao wins by TKO in round 10HBO360,000 [186]
Feb 25, 2006 Shane Mosley vs Fernando Vargas Mosley wins by TKO in round 10HBO415,000 [187]
Apr 8, 2006 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Zab Judah Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (116–112, 117–111, 119–109)HBO375,000 [186]
May 6, 2006 Ricardo Mayorga vs. Oscar De La Hoya De La Hoya wins by TKO in round 6HBO925,000 [188]
May 6, 2006 Manny Pacquiao vs. Óscar Larios Pacquiao wins by UD (117–110, 118–108, 120–106) Top Rank 120,000 [189]
Jul 15, 2006 Shane Mosley vs Fernando Vargas IIMosley wins by TKO in round 6HBO350,000 [187]
Aug 12, 2006 Hasim Rahman vs. Oleg Maskaev IIMaskaev wins by TKO in round 12HBO60,000 [190]
Nov 4, 2006 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Carlos Baldomir Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (120–108, 120–108, 118–110)HBO325,000 [186]
Nov 18, 2006 Manny Pacquiao vs Érik Morales IIIPacquiao wins by KO in round 3HBO350,000 [186]
Apr 14, 2007 Manny Pacquiao vs Jorge Solís Pacquiao wins by KO in round 8Top Rank150,000 [191]
May 5, 2007 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mayweather Jr. wins by SD (116–112, 115–113, 113–115)HBO2,400,000 [60]
Oct 10, 2007 Manny Pacquiao vs. Marco Antonio Barrera IIPacquiao wins by UD (118–109, 118–109, 115–112)HBO350,000 [192]
Dec 8, 2007 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton Mayweather Jr. wins by TKO in round 10HBO920,000 [81]
Jan 19, 2008 Félix Trinidad vs. Roy Jones Jr. Jones Jr. wins by UD (116-110, 117-109, 116-110)HBO500,000 [193]
Feb 16, 2008 Kelly Pavlik vs. Jermain Taylor IIPavlik wins by UD (115-113, 117-111, 116-112)HBO250,000 [193]
Mar 15, 2008 Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez IIPacquiao wins by SD (115–112, 114–113, 112–115)HBO400,000 [194]
Jun 28, 2008 David Díaz vs. Manny Pacquiao Pacquiao wins by TKO in round 9HBO206,000 [195]
Jul 26, 2008 Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito Margarito wins by TKO in round 11HBO450,000 [196]
Nov 8, 2008 Joe Calzaghe vs. Roy Jones Jr. Calzaghe wins by UD (118–109, 118–109, 118–109)HBO225,000 [196]
Dec 6, 2008 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao Pacquiao wins by RTD in round 8HBO1,250,000 [60]
May 2, 2009 Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton Pacquiao wins by KO in round 2HBO850,000 [79]
Sep 19, 2009 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Márquez Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (120–107, 119–108, 118–109)HBO1,060,000 [81]
Nov 14, 2009 Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto Pacquiao wins by TKO in round 12HBO1,250,000 [83]
Mar 13, 2010 Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey Pacquiao wins by UD (119–109, 119–109, 120–108)HBO700,000 [197]
Apr 3, 2010 Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones Jr. II Hopkins win by UD (118–109, 117–110, 117–110)HBO150,000 [198]
May 1, 2010 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Shane Mosley Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (119–109, 118–110, 119–109)HBO1,400,000 [60]
Nov 13, 2010 Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito Pacquiao wins by UD (120–108, 118–110, 119–109)HBO1,150,000 [86]
May 7, 2011 Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley Pacquiao wins by UD (119–108, 120–108, 120–107)Showtime1,340,000 [88]
Sep 17, 2011 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Victor Ortiz Mayweather Jr. wins by KO in round 4HBO1,250,000 [90]
Nov 13, 2011 Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez III Pacquiao wins by MD (115–113, 114–114, 116–112)HBO1,400,000 [92]
Dec 3, 2011 Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito II Cotto wins by RTD in round 9HBO600,000 [199]
May 5, 2012 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (117–111, 117–111, 118–110)HBO1,500,000 [94]
Jun 9, 2012 Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley Bradley wins by SD (115–113, 115–113, 115–113)HBO890,000 [200]
Sep 15, 2012 Sergio Martínez vs. Julio César Chávez Jr. Martínez wins by UD (118–109, 118–109, 117–110)HBO475,000 [201]
Dec 8, 2012 Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez IV Márquez wins by KO in round 6HBO1,150,000 [95]
May 4, 2013 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Robert Guerrero Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (117–111, 117–111, 117–111)Showtime1,000,000 [202]
Sep 14, 2013 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Canelo Álvarez Mayweather Jr. wins by MD (117–111, 116–112, 114–114)Showtime2,200,000 [97]
Oct 12, 2013 Timothy Bradley vs. Juan Manuel Márquez Bradley wins by SD (115–113, 116–112, 113–115)HBO375,000 [203]
Nov 24, 2013 Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Ríos Pacquiao wins by UD (119–109, 120–108, 118–110)HBO475,000 [204]
Mar 8, 2014 Canelo Álvarez vs. Alfredo Angulo Álvarez wins by TKO in Round 10Showtime350,000 [205]
Apr 12, 2014 Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley II Pacquiao wins by UD (116–112, 116–112, 118–110)HBO800,000 [206]
May 3, 2014 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Marcos Maidana Mayweather Jr. wins by MD (114–114, 117–111, 116–112)Showtime900,000 [207]
Jun 7, 2014 Miguel Cotto vs. Sergio Martínez Cotto wins by RTD in round 10HBO315,000 [208]
Jul 12, 2014 Canelo Álvarez vs. Erislandy Lara Álvarez wins by SD (115–113, 117–111, 113–115)Showtime300,000 [209]
Sep 13, 2014 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Marcos Maidana II Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (116–111, 116–111, 115–112)Showtime925,000 [207]
Nov 23, 2014 Manny Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri Pacquiao wins by UD (119–103, 119–103, 120–102)HBO400,000 [210]
May 2, 2015 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (116–112, 116–112, 118–110)HBO/Showtime4,600,000 [98]
Sep 12, 2015 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Andre Berto Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (120–108, 118–110, 117–111)Showtime400,000 [211]
Oct 17, 2015 Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux Golovkin wins by TKO in round 8HBO150,000 [212]
Nov 21, 2015 Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Álvarez Álvarez wins by UD (117–111, 119–109, 118–110)HBO900,000 [213]
Apr 9, 2016 Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley III Pacquiao wins by UD (116–110, 116–110, 116–110)HBO400,000 [214]
May 7, 2016 Canelo Álvarez vs. Amir Khan Álvarez wins by KO in round 6HBO600,000 [215]
July 23, 2016 Terence Crawford vs. Viktor Postol Crawford wins by UD (118–107, 118–107, 117–108)HBO55,000 [216]
Sep 17, 2016 Canelo Álvarez vs. Liam Smith Álvarez wins by TKO in round 9HBO300,000 [217]
Nov 5, 2016 Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas Pacquiao wins by UD (118–109, 118–109, 114–113)Top Rank300,000 [218]
Nov 19, 2016 Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward Ward wins by UD (114–113, 114–113, 114–113)HBO165,000 [219]
Mar 18, 2017 Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs Golovkin wins by UD (115–112, 115–112, 114–113)HBO170,000 [220]
May 6, 2017 Canelo Álvarez vs. Julio César Chávez Jr. Álvarez wins by UD (120–108, 120–108, 120–108)HBO1,000,000 [221]
Jun 17, 2017 Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev II Ward wins by TKO in round 8HBO130,000 [222]
Aug 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor Mayweather Jr. wins by TKO in round 10Showtime4,300,000 [223]
Sep 16, 2017 Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin Split draw (118–110, 115–113, 114–114)HBO1,300,000 [106]
Sep 15, 2018 Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II Álvarez wins by MD (115–113, 114–114, 115–113)HBO1,100,000 [113]
Dec 1, 2018 Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury Split draw (115–111, 113–113, 112–114)Showtime325,000 [224]
Jan 19, 2019 Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner Pacquiao wins by UD (117–111, 116–112, 116–112)Showtime400,000 [225]
Mar 16, 2019 Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia Spence Jr. wins by UD (120–107, 120–108, 120–108) Fox 375,000 [226]
Apr 20, 2019 Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan Crawford wins by TKO in round 6 ESPN 150,000 [227]
Jul 20, 2019 Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman Pacquiao wins by SD (115–112, 115–112, 113–114)Fox500,000 [228]
Sep 28, 2019 Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter Spence wins by SD (116–111, 116–111, 112–115)Fox350,000 [229]
Nov 23, 2019 Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz II Wilder wins by KO in round 7Fox275,000 [230]
Feb 22, 2020 Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury II Fury wins by TKO in round 7ESPN/Fox1,200,000 [231]
Sep 26, 2020 Jermall Charlo vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko Charlo wins by UD (116-112, 118-110, 117-111)Showtime120,000 [232]
Oct 31, 2020 Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz Davis wins by KO in round 6Showtime225,000 [233]
Nov 28, 2020 Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. Split draw (76-76, 79-73, 76-80) Triller 1,600,000 [120]
Dec 5, 2020 Errol Spence Jr. vs. Danny García Spence wins by US (117-111, 116-112, 116-112)Fox250,000 [234]
Jun 10, 2021 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Logan Paul Exhibition fight, no winner declaredShowtime1,000,000 [235]

United Kingdom

Select boxing pay-per-view figures (mainly from Sky Box Office) between 1966 and 2018. Many of these figures are based on BARB weekly viewing data figures. [236]

   — Fights which held the UK PPV sales record
DateFightNetworkBuysSource(s)Announcers
21 May 1966 Muhammad Ali vs. Henry Cooper II Pay TV40,000 [237]
16 March 1996 Frank Bruno vs. Mike Tyson II Sky Box Office660,000 [68] Ian Darke and Glenn McCrory
9 November 1996 Naseem Hamed vs. Remigio Molina Sky Box Office420,000 [68] [238] Ian Darke and Glenn McCrory
8 February 1997 Naseem Hamed vs. Tom Johnson Sky Box Office720,000 [68] [239] Ian Darke and Glenn McCrory
3 May 1997 Naseem Hamed vs. Billy Hardy Sky Box Office348,000 [68] [240] Ian Darke and Glenn McCrory
28 June 1997 Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson II Sky Box Office550,000 [70] Ian Darke and Glenn McCrory
13 March 1999 Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox Lewis Sky Box Office400,000 [241] Ian Darke and Glenn McCrory
29 January 2000 Mike Tyson vs. Julius Francis Sky Box Office500,000 [70] Ian Darke and Glenn McCrory
19 August 2000 Naseem Hamed vs. Augie Sanchez Sky Box Office300,000 [242] Adam Smith and Jim Watt
8 June 2002 Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson Sky Box Office750,000 [74] Ian Darke and Glenn McCrory
8 December 2007 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton Sky Box Office1,150,000 [243] Ian Darke and Jim Watt
2 May 2009 Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton Sky Box Office900,000 [80] Ian Darke and Jim Watt
18 July 2009 Amir Khan vs. Andreas Kotelnik Sky Box Office100,000 [244] Adam Smith and Jim Watt
7 November 2009 Nikolai Valuev vs. David Haye Sky Box Office469,000 [245] Ian Darke and Jim Watt
3 April 2010 David Haye vs. John Ruiz Sky Box Office253,000 [246] [103] Ian Darke and Jim Watt
24 April 2010 Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler Primetime 50,000 [247] John Rawling and Duke McKenzie
18 September 2010 Kell Brook vs. Michael Jennings Sky Box Office15,000 [248] Ian Darke and Jim Watt
13 November 2010 David Haye vs. Audley Harrison Sky Box Office304,000 [245] [103] Ian Darke and Jim Watt
11 December 2010 Amir Khan vs. Marcos Maidana Sky Box Office164,000 [249] Adam Smith and Jim Watt
16 April 2011 Amir Khan vs. Paul McCloskey Primetime200,000 [250] [247] Benny Ricardo and Duke McKenzie
21 May 2011 George Groves vs. James DeGale Sky Box Office43,000 [251] Ian Darke and Jim Watt
2 July 2011 Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye Sky Box Office1,170,000 [252] [253] John Rawling and Jim Watt
25 May 2013 Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler II Sky Box Office32,000 [254] Ian Darke and Jim Watt
23 November 2013 Carl Froch vs. George Groves Sky Box Office47,000 [255] Nick Halling and Jim Watt
31 May 2014 Carl Froch vs. George Groves II Sky Box Office355,000 [256] Nick Halling, Jim Watt and Paulie Malignaggi
2 May 2015 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao Sky Box Office942,000 [99] [257] Nick Halling and Jim Watt
30 May 2015 Kell Brook vs. Frankie Gavin Sky Box Office139,000 [258] Nick Halling, Jim Watt and Paulie Malignaggi
28 November 2015 Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tyson Fury Sky Box Office655,000 [259] [103] Adam Smith, Glenn McCrory and Carl Froch
12 December 2015 Anthony Joshua vs. Dillian Whyte Sky Box Office699,000 [260] [261] Nick Halling, Jim Watt and Paulie Malignaggi
27 February 2016 Carl Frampton vs. Scott Quigg Sky Box Office220,000 [262] [263] Nick Halling and Jim Watt
9 April 2016 Anthony Joshua vs. Charles Martin Sky Box Office1,368,000 [260] [264] Nick Halling and Glenn McCrory
25 June 2016 Anthony Joshua vs. Dominic Breazeale Sky Box Office617,000 [265] Nick Halling, Jim Watt and David Haye
10 September 2016 Gennady Golovkin vs. Kell Brook Sky Box Office752,000 [266] [267] Adam Smith, Carl Froch and Paulie Malignaggi
10 December 2016 Anthony Joshua vs. Éric Molina Sky Box Office764,000 [260] [268] Adam Smith, Carl Froch and David Haye
4 February 2017 Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Renold Quinlan ITV Box Office 86,000 [269] Ronald McIntosh and Richie Woodhall
4 March 2017 David Haye vs. Tony Bellew Sky Box Office1,515,000 [270] [103] Adam Smith, Carl Froch and Paulie Malignaggi
29 April 2017 Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko Sky Box Office1,542,000 [102] [103] Adam Smith, Carl Froch and Deontay Wilder
27 May 2017 Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence Jr. Sky Box Office405,000 [271] Adam Smith and Carl Froch
26 August 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor Sky Box Office1,007,000 [272] Adam Smith, Carl Froch and Dan Hardy
28 October 2017 Anthony Joshua vs. Carlos Takam Sky Box Office1,009,000 [273] Adam Smith, Carl Froch and Tony Bellew
31 March 2018 Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker Sky Box Office1,832,000 [107] [103] Adam Smith and Carl Froch
5 May 2018 David Haye vs. Tony Bellew IISky Box Office1,048,000 [274] [103] Adam Smith, Carl Froch and Paulie Malignaggi
28 July 2018 Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph Parker Sky Box Office571,000 [275] [276] Adam Smith, Carl Froch and Tony Bellew
22 September 2018 Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin Sky Box Office1,247,000 [114] [103] Adam Smith, Carl Froch, Paulie Malignaggi and David Haye
10 November 2018 Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tony Bellew Sky Box Office819,000 [277] Adam Smith, Carl Froch, Paulie Malignaggi and David Haye
1 December 2018 Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury BT Sport Box Office 450,000 [278] John Rawling and Barry Jones
22 December 2018 Dillian Whyte vs. Derek Chisora IISky Box Office532,000 [279] Adam Smith, Carl Froch and Anthony Joshua
1 June 2019 Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. Sky Box Office652,000 [280] Adam Smith, Paulie Malignaggi and Matthew Macklin
20 July 2019 Dillian Whyte vs. Oscar Rivas Sky Box Office368,000 [281] Adam Smith, Paulie Malignaggi and Matthew Macklin
31 August 2019 Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Luke Campbell Sky Box Office205,000 [282] Adam Smith, Paulie Malignaggi and Matthew Macklin
26 October 2019 Josh Taylor vs. Regis Prograis Sky Box Office176,000 [283] Adam Smith, Carl Froch and Matthew Macklin
9 November 2019 KSI vs. Logan Paul II Sky Box Office216,000 [284] Adam Smith, Joe Weller, Behzinga and AnEsonGib
7 December 2019 Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua II Sky Box Office1,540,000 [117] [103] Adam Smith, Matthew Macklin and Tony Bellew
22 August 2020 Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin Sky Box Office337,000 [285] Adam Smith and Matthew Macklin
31 October 2020 Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora Sky Box Office1,059,000 [286] [287] [288] Adam Smith and Matthew Macklin
12 December 2020 Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev Sky Box Office948,000 [289] Adam Smith and Matthew Macklin
27 March 2021 Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte II Sky Box Office197,000 [290] [291] Adam Smith and Matthew Macklin

Mixed martial arts (MMA)

The first pay-per-view mixed martial arts bout was Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki, which took place in Japan on June 26, 1976. It sold at least 2 million buys on closed-circuit theatre TV. [292] At a ticket price of $10, [293] the fight grossed at least $20 million (inflation-adjusted $90 million) or more from closed-circuit theatre TV revenue in the United States.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

The highest buy rates for the UFC as of January 2021 are as follows. [294]

Note: The UFC does not release official PPV statistics, and the following PPV numbers are as reported by industry insiders. As of April 2019, all PPV's are iPPV's, with distribution on the internet exclusively via Disney and BAMTech's streaming service.

   — Fights which held the UFC PPV sales record
DateEventHeadlineBuy rateRevenue (est.)
Oct 6, 2018 UFC 229 Khabib vs. McGregor 2,400,000 [295] $180 million [296] [297]
Aug 20, 2016 UFC 202 Diaz vs. McGregor 21,650,000 [294] $90 million [298] [299]
Jan 24, 2021 UFC 257 Poirier vs. McGregor 21,600,000 [300]
Jul 11, 2009 UFC 100 Lesnar vs. Mir 1,600,000 [294] $82 million
Mar 5, 2016 UFC 196 McGregor vs. Diaz1,317,000 [295] $80 million [301] [299]
Jul 11, 2020 UFC 251 Usman vs. Masvidal 1,300,000 [302] $78 million [303]
Nov 12, 2016 UFC 205 Alvarez vs. McGregor1,300,000 [295] $83 million [304] [297]
Jul 9, 2016 UFC 200 Tate vs. Nunes 1,200,000 [294] $71 million [305] [306]
Dec 12, 2015 UFC 194 Aldo vs. McGregor1,200,000 [295] $80 million [307] [299]
Jul 3, 2010 UFC 116 Lesnar vs. Carwin 1,160,000 [294] $55 million
Nov 15, 2015 UFC 193 Rousey vs. Holm 1,100,000$60 million
Dec 30, 2016 UFC 207 Nunes vs. Rousey1,100,000 [294] $60 million [308] [309]
Dec 30, 2006 UFC 66 Liddell vs. Ortiz 21,050,000 [294] $53 million
May 29, 2010 UFC 114 Rampage vs. Evans 1,050,000 [294] $51 million [310] [311]
Oct 23, 2010 UFC 121 Lesnar vs. Velasquez 1,050,000 [294] $45 million
Dec 28, 2013 UFC 168 Weidman vs. Silva II1,025,000 [294] $57 million [312] [313]
Nov 15, 2008 UFC 91 Couture vs. Lesnar1,010,000 [294] $47 million
Jan 18, 2020 UFC 246 McGregor vs. Cowboy 1,000,000 [314] $65 million [315]
Dec 27, 2008 UFC 92 Evans vs. Griffin 1,000,000 [294] $48 million [316] [299]
Mar 16, 2013 UFC 158 St-Pierre vs. Diaz 950,000 [294]
Jul 7, 2012 UFC 148 Silva vs. Sonnen II925,000
Jan 31, 2009 UFC 94 St-Pierre vs. Penn 2920,000
Aug 1, 2015 UFC 190 Rousey vs. Correia 900,000
Nov 4, 2017 UFC 217 Bisping vs. St-Pierre875,000
Jul 29, 2017 UFC 214 Cormier vs. Jones 2860,000
Aug 8, 2009 UFC 101 Declaration850,000
Jul 11, 2015 UFC 189 Mendes vs. McGregor825,000 [317]
Mar 6, 2021 UFC 259 Błachowicz vs. Adesanya800,000 [318]
Apr 30, 2011 UFC 129 St-Pierre vs. Shields 800,000
Jan 3, 2015 UFC 182 Jones vs. Cormier800,000
Dec 11, 2010 UFC 124 St-Pierre vs. Koscheck 2785,000
Mar 27, 2010 UFC 111 St-Pierre vs. Hardy 770,000
Dec 30, 2011 UFC 141 Lesnar vs. Overeem 750,000
Feb 5, 2011 UFC 126 Silva vs. Belfort 725,000
Dec 29, 2007 UFC 79 Nemesis700,000
Apr 21, 2012 UFC 145 Jones vs. Evans700,000
Nov 17, 2012 UFC 154 St. Pierre vs. Condit 700,000
Dec 29, 2018 UFC 232 Jones vs. Gustafsson 2700,000
Apr 24, 2021 UFC 261 Usman vs. Masvidal 2700,000 [319]
May 9, 2020 UFC 249 Ferguson vs. Gaethje 700,000 [320]
Sep 26, 2020 UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa 700,000 [321]
Oct 24, 2020 UFC 254 Khabib vs. Gaethje675,000 [322]
May 26, 2007 UFC 71 Liddell vs. Jackson 675,000

Professional wrestling (United States)

WrestleMania I in March 1985 sold over 1 million buys on closed-circuit theatre TV in the United States, making it the largest pay-per-view showing of a wrestling event in the US at the time. [323]

PPV home television

The highest buy rates for professional wrestling events on pay-per-view home television as of June 2015 are as follows. [324]

   — Fights which held the professional wrestling PPV sales record
No.DateEventBuy rate
1Apr 1, 2012 WrestleMania XXVIII 1,300,000 [325]
2Apr 1, 2007 WrestleMania 23 1,200,000
3Apr 3, 2005 WrestleMania 21 1,085,000
4Apr 3, 2011 WrestleMania XXVII 1,059,000
5Mar 30, 2008 WrestleMania XXIV 1,058,000
6Apr 7, 2013 WrestleMania 29 1,048,000
7Apr 1, 2001 WrestleMania X-Seven 1,040,000
8Mar 14, 2004 WrestleMania XX 1,007,000
9Apr 2, 2006 WrestleMania 22 975,000
10Apr 5, 2009 WrestleMania XXV 960,000
11Mar 28, 2010 WrestleMania XXVI 885,000
12Mar 17, 2002 WrestleMania X8 880,000
13Apr 2, 2000 WrestleMania 2000 824,000
14Mar 28, 1999 WrestleMania XV 800,000
15Jul 22, 2001 WWF Invasion 770,000
16Apr 2, 1989 WrestleMania V 767,000
17Mar 24, 1991 WrestleMania VII 764,000 [326] [327]

List of sportsmen with highest pay-per-view sales

This tables lists the sportsmen who have had the highest pay-per-view sales, with at least 10 million buys. It includes sportsmen who have participated in combat sports such as boxing and mixed martial arts as well as sports entertainment such as professional wrestling.

SportsmanTotal sales (est.)Closed-circuit theatre TVPPV home televisionYearsSport(s)
Flag of the United States.svg Muhammad Ali 162,944,000162,154,000 [lower-alpha 2] 790,000 [lower-alpha 2] 19631985 Professional boxing
Mixed martial arts
Professional wrestling
Flag of the United States.svg Joe Frazier 100,500,000100,000,000 [6] 500,000 [14] 19651981 Professional boxing
Flag of the United States.svg George Foreman 52,000,00050,000,000 [5] 2,000,000 [60] [162] 19741993
Flag of the United States.svg Floyd Mayweather Jr. 29,090,000223,000 [76] [100] 28,867,000 [328] [lower-alpha 3] 20052017Professional boxing
Professional wrestling
Flag of the Philippines.svg Manny Pacquiao 22,214,000173,000 [100] 22,041,000 [lower-alpha 4] 20052019 Professional boxing
Flag of the United States.svg Mike Tyson 20,700,000920,000 [lower-alpha 5] 19,780,000 [lower-alpha 5] 19882020Professional boxing
Professional wrestling
Flag of the United States.svg Triple H 20,329,000N/A20,329,000 [lower-alpha 6] 19952019 Professional wrestling
Flag of Ireland.svg Conor McGregor 16,599,000N/A16,599,000 [lower-alpha 7] 20082021 Mixed martial arts
Professional boxing
Flag of the United States.svg John Cena 15,389,000N/A15,389,000 [lower-alpha 6] 20022018Professional wrestling
Flag of the United States.svg The Rock 14,859,000N/A14,859,000 [lower-alpha 8] 19982013Professional wrestling
Flag of the United States.svg The Undertaker 14,451,000N/A14,451,000 [lower-alpha 6] 19902020
Flag of the United States.svg Oscar De La Hoya 14,140,00050,000 [76] 14,090,000 [lower-alpha 9] 19952008Professional boxing
Flag of the United States.svg Brock Lesnar 12,771,000N/A12,771,000 [lower-alpha 10] 20022020Professional wrestling
Mixed martial arts
Flag of the United States.svg Evander Holyfield 12,720,000120,000 [71] 12,600,000 [329] 19842003Professional boxing
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Anthony Joshua 12,129,000N/A12,129,000 [lower-alpha 11] 20152020Professional boxing
Flag of the United States.svg Shawn Michaels 10,160,000N/A10,160,000 [lower-alpha 6] 19882018Professional wrestling

See also

Notes

  1. See Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton § Pay-per-view.
  2. 1 2 See Boxing career of Muhammad Ali § Pay-per-view bouts.
  3. See Floyd Mayweather Jr. § Pay-per-view bouts.
  4. See Boxing career of Manny Pacquiao § Pay-per-view bouts.
  5. 1 2 See Mike Tyson § Pay-per-view bouts.
  6. 1 2 3 4 See "List of WWE pay-per-view events".
  7. See Conor McGregor § UFC pay-per-view bouts.
  8. See "Dwayne Johnson".
  9. See Oscar De La Hoya § Pay-per-view bouts.
  10. See Brock Lesnar § Pay-per-view bouts.
  11. See Anthony Joshua § UK pay-per-view bouts.

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