Saturday night’s Tyson-Fury-Deontay Wilder pay-per-view trilogy fight surpassed all expectations in the ring -- now the industry waits to see if the epic fight will meet PPV buy projections.
The Oct. 9 event, in which Fury knocked out Wilder in the 11th round of an action-packed fight in which both fighters hit the canvas a combined five times, was arguably worth the $80 PPV retail price event distributors ESPN and Fox Sports set for the third and most likely last bout between the two heavyweight fighters.
Industry observers expected the third Fury-Wilder fight to at least match the close to approximately 1 million PPV buys the February 2020 second Fury-Wilder fight generated. While industry executives said it’s too early to project PPV buys for fury-Wilder III, PPV distributors were confident the fight would perform up to expectations.
Fury’s win clearly places him at the top of the heavyweight division, and could set up a potential unification fight in 2022 against the winner of the upcoming rematch bout between current champion Oleksandr Usyk and the fighter he beat last month for the title, Anthony Joshua. Wilder could also fight either or both Joshua and Usyk, setting up a number of PPV event opportunities in the marquee heavyweight division.
“The heavyweight division is much bigger than any one fighter,” In Demand senior VP of programming & marketing Mark Boccardi said. “There are a bunch of top-drawing heavyweights right now, and boxing fans are going to want to see the best, no matter who they are.”
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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.
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