Home Box Office Pay-Per-View’s Sept. 18 Oscar de la Hoya-Bernard Hopkins middleweight-championship PPV fight didn’t break any PPV records but certainly filled cable-operator pocketbooks.
The fight -- in which Hopkins retained his middleweight crown with a ninth-round knockout of de la Hoya, the sport’s biggest PPV draw -- drew slightly over 1 million buys, according to HBO senior vice president of sports operations Mark Taffet.
The mark is the second-highest for a nonheavyweight event behind the 1999 de la Hoya-Felix Trinidad fight.
The event also drew $56 million in PPV revenue, behind only de la Hoya-Trinidad’s $71 million. The fight retailed at a suggested price of $54.95.
“It was a night of history on a number of levels,” Taffet said. “Bernard Hopkins got his universal recognition as the best middleweight of our era, while Oscar de la Hoya showed the heart of a great six-division champion. In the process, the boxing public made it the second-highest-grossing nonheavyweight fight in PPV history.”
While the fight performed well, de la Hoya’s loss may compromise the “golden boy’s” future PPV appeal if he chooses to continue fighting. Taffet, however, believes de la Hoya still has high marquee appeal and could still ring PPV cash registers with rematch fights against Felix Trinidad and/or Sugar Shane Mosley.
As for Hopkins, Taffet said he could move up to light heavyweight and attempt to avenge a loss to former champion Roy Jones Jr. or fight Antonio Tarver, who knocked out Jones last May.
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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.