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Showtime Draws 1 Million Buys for Mayweather PPV Fight

Pay-per-view’s pound-for-pound boxing champion, Floyd Mayweather, kept his consecutive million-buy streak intact with his May 4 PPV bout against Robert Guerrero, according to fight distributor Showtime Sports.

The Mayweather-Guerrero fight, in which Mayweather won in a relatively easy fashion against the game but overmatched Guerrero, drew slightly more than 1 million buys, according to Showtime Sports executive vice president and general manager Stephen Espinoza. It was the fifth straight fight in which the undefeated welterweight champion has surpassed the standard for PPV events.

The fight, which retailed for $59.99, was the first Mayweather PPV event distributed by Showtime as part of a deal reached this past February that calls for the premium network to distribute six Mayweather fights over the next 30 months.

“The fight performance reconfirms what we already knew: that Floyd Mayweather is the biggest PPV draw in boxing and in all of sports,” Espinoza said. “The fact that we were able to generate 1 million buys without the benefit of a well-known opponent is really a testament to [Mayweather’s] continuing popularity.”

Espinoza disputed some published reports that claimed the network took a financial loss on the fight, saying, “From our standpoint, [it] was a financial success.” He would not reveal specific figures, however.

Showtime Sports was thrilled with the marketing and promotion efforts from Showtime (the network) and from multichannel distributors, as well as from corporate siblings CBS and CBS Radio, he said.

Showtime Sports is now focusing its efforts on Mayweather’s second fight of the deal. The company has entered into “preliminary negotiations” for a potential Sept. 14 bout against hard-hitting, undefeated Mexican junior middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.

Such a fight could draw huge PPV numbers and potentially rival the record 2.4 million buys garnered by the 2007 Oscar De La Hoya-Mayweather bout, Espinoza said.

“It’s really the most intriguing opponent for Mayweather, and both fighters want the fight,” the Showtime Sports executive said. “If Mayweather-Alvarez happens, we will certainly shoot to exceed the all-time record, but it will be a tall order — as popular as Canelo Alvarez is, he doesn’t have the awareness that Oscar did at that point.”

Espinoza also said he’s “not pleased” with the possibility of having to compete with a potential Sept. 14 HBO PPV card featuring welterweight champion Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez. Bradley and Marquez each defeated former pound-for-pound PPV boxing champ Manny Pacquiao in 2012.