Despite not selling out the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday and a wealth of technical issues that marred the pay-per-view and streaming broadcast for fans that purchased the fight for close to $100, Mayweather/McGregor is still poised to eclipse the record the boxer set with his long-awaited fight against Manny Pacquiao. There were still many empty seats in the T-Mobile arena ahead of the start of the fight, with many of the seats selling for between $2,500 and $10,000 still available for purchase. But despite that, Floyd Mayweather was still claiming that the money from the gate had broken the all-time record and pulled in $80 million.
That said, the real prize will be the PPV numbers. While the official statistics won’t be out for around a week, the scope of who could watch was guaranteed to be enormous thanks to the inclusion of UFC’s Fight Pass and other non-traditional means of viewing. According to NBC News, an expected 50 million were set to watch the fight in the United States alone. Outside of that, a potential one billion homes in 200 different countries could stream the fight. Dana White sold this point well during the ongoing promotion for the fight:
“If you are in Manhattan or you are on a desert island somewhere, if you have Wi-Fi, you can buy this fight,”
The actual numbers will likely be lower, but the fight is still primarily thought to make most of its impact through television and video according to former HBO pay-per-view Mark Taffet:
“I think this is first and foremost a television event,” said Taffet, who oversaw 190 pay-per-views in his career at HBO. “The success of this fight in the financial record books of history will be made on pay-per-view. And I believe it’s going to deliver.”
Given the technical issues that overwhelmed the PPV and streams, we are likely to see a huge number released in the coming days. Not every fight has to delay its start time in order to catch up with viewer demand, so a strong assumption would be the confirmation of many predictions about the buy rate.
That’s not the only way the fight managed to draw in viewers. The fight was so popular, the Fathom Events theatrical exhibition managed to crack the top ten at the box office this weekend, earning $2.6 million from 534 theaters according to Variety:
The price of admission was steeper than your average movie ticket — an adult pass cost about $40 each. That’s compared to the $99.95 price fans turned over to watch the match on pay-per-view TV. The theatrical event was a partnership between Fathom Events and Mayweather Promotions. The two have partnered before on theatrical screenings of fights in the past.
With everything combined, the fight should very likely cross the estimated $1 billion revenue mark and add to an already immense payday for both fighters.