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Mayweather-Pacquiao Packs PPV Punch

There’s no question the May 2 Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view event will knock out all pay-per-view records. What industry observers are asking now is how high is up.

At press time, fight co-promoters Showtime and HBO were still adding up all the numbers for the mega fight and would not provide specific figures.

But it’s clear the fight as predicted will eclipse the record 2.48 million buys generated by HBO’s 2007 Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya fight and the $152 million in PPV revenue set by the Showtime’s 2013 Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez fight.

Heading into the fight, the networks reported early fight buys had put the fight on a record-setting pace. With most buys taking place the day of the event, industry observers believe the fight could approach or surpass the 3 million buy mark.

With a record high $89 suggested retail price – some operators charged $99 for the high definition feed – industry estimates of at least $300 million in PPV revenues are not far-fetched.

Verizon has already declared Mayweather-Pacquiao as its biggest PPV event ever, generating more than 250,000 PPV buys, said Bob Elek, Verizon spokesman.

The fight generated big PPV numbers despite some distributors struggling to process the slew of last-minute buys coming in for the fight. Many fans took to social media Saturday night to complain about being unable to purchase and view the fight.

Fight co-promoters HBO and Showtime announced during the fight telecast that it was delaying the Mayweather-Pacquiao main event to allow distributors to process all PPV buys.

Verizon representatives reported “minor” problems with order processing despite the fact the telco experienced a 500% increase in fight buys the day of the event compared to the number of buys generated prior to the event.

Mayweather-Pacquiao’ PPV performance also set records despite illegal streams of the fight from social media apps Periscope and Meerkat, according to several published reports. App users reportedly live streamed video of the fight from their television sets or live from the venue itself.

As for the fight, Mayweather used his superior defensive skills, speed and footwork to keep Pacquiao at bay to win comfortably in a unanimous decision that many observers said fell short of the massive hype generated for the event.

For those who missed the “Fight of The Century” HBO and Showtime will simultaneously telecast a replay of the event Saturday at 9 p.m. HBO will pair the fight the Canelo Alvarez/James Kirkland live boxing match, while Showtime will premiere its Inside Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Epilogue special.

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.