HBO Sports’ May 14 Felix Trinidad-Winky Wright middleweight pay-per-view fight garnered an unexpectedly high 510,000 buys, setting the bar for PPV-boxing events this year.
The bout -- in which former junior middleweight champion Wright easily outpointed the favored Trinidad -- drew 280,000 buys from cable homes and 230,000 from satellite subscribers, according to Home Box Office senior vice president of sports operations Mark Taffet.
He said the popularity of Trinidad, as well as Wright’s two convincing wins over former world champion Shane Mosley on HBO, boosted the fight’s performance beyond the network’s expectations.
“We’re thrilled with the numbers, and it shows that the public simply said, ‘If you bring us two great fighters in a highly competitive match, we will buy the fight,’” Taffet said. “It reflects the public support of a competitive matchup in a big fight.”
Taffet hopes the success of Trinidad-Wright will bode well for its July 16 Bernard Hopkins-Jermaine Taylor middleweight-championship PPV event.
“In effect, the best four middleweights in the world were fighting one another in very meaningful matchups,” he said. “With Winky Wright having won the fight, there will be tremendous focus on the Hopkins-Taylor matchup, which will only make that fight perform better.”
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.