The upcoming May 2 fight between Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao and American Floyd Mayweather has broken records thanks to the unprecedented amount of media hype surrounding the event. A price has been set for those planning to watch the fight on pay-per-view.
According to Joe Flint of the Wall Street Journal, fans could expect to pay a record $99 to watch the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight via pay-per-view. The deal is currently being negotiated by both HBO and Showtime.
"Under the terms being discussed, the fight will be sold for $99 for a high-definition feed and $89 for standard definition, both of which are record prices," Flint wrote. "The previous high was $74.95 for high-definition and $64.95 for standard."
Flint reported that the tentative agreement would be less favorable to the distributors than the standard deal. In addition, the distributors could get up to 40 percent of PPV revenue if certain incentives are met.
"Some industry observers have predicted that it could top three million pay-per-view purchases, which could amount to upward of $300 million," Flint wrote. "The current record is $152 million for Mr. Mayweather's fight with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez."
Flint argued that any PPV deal should be negotiated quickly so distributors can start hawking the match, which will take place in a month, to consumers. According to a report from Newsday, the person responsible for making the boxing match between Mayweather and Pacquiao possible in the first place was Leslie Moonves, the current chief executive of CBS.
"I must say, this is a lot of fun," Moonves said. "I'm really enjoying this one, and I'm really proud this came together."
According to Newsday, Showtime, which is owned by CBS, had Mayweather under contract, while Pacquiao signed on with HBO. Moonves was able to act as a "mediator," given that he had a good relationship with both Bob Arum and Al Haymon, both promoters of Pacquiao and Mayweather respectively.
"I think I served a purpose in that I was someone who both sides trusted, which in the boxing world is hard to get," Moonves said. "There's a lack of trust on both sides, and I think as a result of that, there were a lot of starts and stops in this fight."
Newsday predicted that the upcoming fight could break the record of 2.4 million PPV buys set by the fight between Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. Mayweather also stands to gain 60 percent of the purse, which could go as high as $120 million.
"I'll bet the house on that one," Moonves said. "I don't know what the number is going to be, but it's guaranteed to break all records in terms of revenue. Both fighters are going to do very well."
As for Showtime and HBO, Moonves added that his channel should "make a decent amount of money, not a huge amount of money."
"Obviously, the deal wouldn't have truly been realized to what we wanted unless this fight took place," Moonves said, noting that boxing fans have been "waiting years and years and years for this fight."
As for predicting who will win the fight, Moonves will try his best to stay neutral. While he is "not rooting for officially anybody," Newsday reported that Moonves still had a contractual connection to Mayweather.
"I think it's going to be a competitive fight, I really do. I'm looking forward to it," Moonves said. "I have my opinion on what's going to happen, but there are a lot of people who have a lot of different opinions."
Even though some fans hoped such a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao would have taken place five years ago, Moonves told Newsday that he had no regrets making the matchup now.
"I think everybody involved realized this truly - and I'm not exaggerating - would have been a tragedy for the sport if this fight hadn't happened," Moonves said.