The Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight shattered all pay-per-view records with 4.4 million buys for more than $400 million in domestic sales, the producers and promoters of the event announced this week.
The old records were 2.48 million buys for Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, and $150 million for Mayweather vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2013.
“I’m very, very proud of my team and I’m just so thankful for the incredible support for this event,” Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, said. “These numbers will never be broken. So many things had to go the right way to even get to this point.”
Based on contract details, $72,198,500 in live gate receipts, and the likelihood that most pay-per-view buyers purchased the high-definition viewing option, Mayweather’s gross take from $500 million in receipts would be in the range of $196 million. He received a post-tax check after the May 2 event for $100 million.
Pacquiao’s gross would be in the range of $131 million, from which his promoter, Top Rank Inc., also is compensated.
In actuality, both will earn significantly more.
Those salary projections only include domestic pay-per-view and live gate receipts. They do not factor some other significant revenue streams, including closed-circuit television in Las Vegas and bars and restaurants nationally, foreign television rights, sponsorship, and merchandising, which figure to push total revenue to more than $560 million.
Virtually all of those revenue sources not related to domestic pay-per-view and live gate receipts break 60-40 in Mayweather’s favor, and assuming $60 million from them, his gross pay balloons to some $230 million, with Pacquiao at about $154 million.
That $60 million estimate is conservative, too. Foreign television rights and sponsorship alone generated about $50 million. There also were 46,000 viewers via closed-circuit television in Las Vegas, where the fight was blacked out on home pay-per-view. Viewing price there was $150, for about $7 million more in revenue. Sales to bars and restaurants, plus merchandising, will add millions to the total windfall.
So will belated pay-per-view revenue. About five to eight percent of pay-per-view proceeds typically trickle in after initial reports. In this case, that trickle could mean tens of millions.
The salary projections also are based on one-third of the pay-per-view rake going to cable and satellite providers, though it could be somewhat more or less under terms of some of those contracts, based on the various providers’ pre-fight marketing efforts; 7.5 percent of pay-per-view proceeds divvied up by HBO and Showtime in an even split; and Mayweather receiving the 60-40 advantage on the remainder of pay-per-view proceeds. One exception to that 60-40 split was revenue between $160 million and $180 million, which is divided 51-49 in the winner’s favor after the various television interests’ splits.
Mayweather won the historic welterweight bout by unanimous decision at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“Floyd will never get the credit he deserves for the impact he has had on sports until after he retires,” Ellerbe said. “He has completely changed the business model for how athletes are perceived as revenue generators. Every A-list athlete has contacted me about our business model.”
Final accounting filed with the Nevada State Athletic Commission showed there were 16,219 tickets sold at an average price of just more than $4,451. Ticket prices ranged from $1,500 to $10,000. The live gate also shattered the previous record for ticket sales to a boxing event, $20,003,150 for Mayweather-Alvarez.
Mayweather, 38, has said he intends to fight one more time, in September, then retire.
Asked if the pound-for-pound king would consider taking his act to London’s Wembley Stadium for a fight against Amir Khan, Ellerbe said, “I don’t know.”
“Floyd isn’t ready to talk about what he wants to do next,” Ellerbe added. “He wants to take a little time and enjoy this victory.”
Mayweather is adamant that he won’t fight Pacquiao again after the latter complained that he thought he won and a shoulder injury cost him the fight. Mayweather won the decision by scores of 118-110, and 116-112 twice.
“Floyd has made it very clear where he stands,” on a rematch, Ellerbe said. “We follow Floyd’s direction and we support him.”