Four years after its predicted death, boxing Pay Per View is out of control
Pay Per View is alive, kicking, and getting out of hand as reports plenty more will be on the way continue to fill boxing column inches.
PPV in boxing was due to be wiped out by 2020 if you believed the fanfare of a new streaming service entering boxing in 2018.
Sadly, DAZN – who announced PPV is dead – now becomes part of a broader problem. A problem that sees dozens of Pay Per View events per year hitting a crowded market.
And it’s not only Pay Per View but joint broadcasts that will become more and more common as the years go on.
Reports that Jermall Charlo and Jaime Munguia fell through due to a joint broadcast deal indicate boxing’s ominous path.
So desperate are promoters to make the fights the fans want as the sport wanes that they are beginning to ask the question of collaborations that used to be the rarest occurrence.
It took boxing twenty years before Lennox Lewis, and Mike Tyson put together the first-ever Showtime and HBO Pay Per View. Another thirteen years before, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao did similarly.
But since then, there have been two Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder PPVs broadcast by ESPN and FOX simultaneously.
However, the gall of Golden Boy and PBC to think Charlo vs. Munguia even deserves to be Pay Per View on its own, let alone a joint PPV, is an indication that boxing is now heading down a dark PPV path.
Showtime released a statement days after talks broke down. They quickly replaced Munguia with their own Showtime non-PPV event.
“Jermall Charlo will defend his WBC Middleweight World Championship for the fifth time on Saturday, June 18. He faces former world title challenger, WBC No. 6-ranked Maciej Sulecki on the Juneteenth holiday weekend in Houston,” they said.
It’s not apparent why they believed switching Sulecki for Munguia would warrant a double-network Pay Per View offering. At least fans get a Charlo fight.
PAY PER VIEW PLATFORMS
Between DAZN, FOX, ESPN, Showtime, Triller, and Fite TV, fans struggle to keep up with payments to watch every event in the sport.
It’s a case now of picking and choosing the headliners you want to see. It used to be a case of watching every significant fight in previous eras.
Scheduling clashes are another hindrance. Moves made by the power-brokers on the exact dates will only mean fewer eyes on the sport – and fewer die-hard ones.
There’s been a furor over YouTubers bringing ‘more eyes to the sport’ in an attempt to justify their inclusion. But those events have only served to allow for even more Pay Per Views for less-talented fighters.
The whole debacle is getting out of hand. It won’t be long before something breaks.
The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.
Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Founding editor of World Boxing News since 2010. WBN has over one billion views on all platforms.
Attending over 200 events and scoring over 400 fights, Phil has overseen WBN to a quarter of a million followers on social media.
Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.