Arum expects Pacquiao-Bradley to be between 400K and 500K PPV buys
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum now seems to be coming to terms with the Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley III fight not bringing in big numbers on HBO pay-per-view last Saturday night. Arum was initially talking about the Pacquiao vs. Bradley III fight bringing in between 700,000 and 800,000 pay-per-view buys on HBO. Arum is now talking about the fight bringing in 400,000 and 500,000, and he’s not happy with those numbers, according to Dan Rafael. What a disappointment.
If Arum had taken a poll or asked yours truly whether it was a good idea for him to trot out Bradley for yet another fight against Pacquiao, I think the 84-year-old Top Rank promoter would have found out that it was horrible idea.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure that Arum had his ear to the ground to hear what the fans and the expert writers had to say about the idea of Pacquiao fighting Bradley for a third time. It was like touching the third rail. You don’t want to do that because you could get burnt. It’s unclear whether any of Top Rank’s management people tried to talk some sense into Arum’s head to convince him that it would be a terrible idea to let Pacquiao fight Bradley again.
Did someone in management tell Arum to not match Pacquiao against Bradley, or did they decide the best policy was to stay quiet and let Arum steer the Top Rank ship into the rocky shores? If was with Top Rank, I’d have told the 84-year-old that he was making a huge blunder in putting Pacquiao in with Bradley for a third time because no one wanted to see that fight, especially given that they had to pay to see it.
If it were a complimentary issue type thing where it was on one of the free television channels, then it would be worth it. But in my view, Pacquiao-Bradley 3 wasn’t even worth it to watch on regular HBO. Frankly, I personally wouldn’t want to sign up for an expensive premium channel just so you can see a fight between Pacquiao and Bradley again. For me to have wanted to see it, it would have had to have been televised on CBS, NBC or ESPN. In other words, on one of the free television channels.
“Nothing official yet but Arum told me today he expects Pac-Bradley PPV to be between 400k and 500k. He termed that “not good.” #boxing,” said Dan Rafael on his Twitter.
Arum talked about the undercard for the Pacquiao-Bradley III fight card being able to draw some fans. It looks like Arum forgot what he said a while ago about how boxing fans to purchase PPV fights in order to see undercard fights. The fans pay to see PPV cards based on the main event. I happen to agree with Arum in that opinion, which is why it was a fail for Arum to put the following fights on the Pacquiao-Bradley III undercard and hope for it to lead to the card being successful: Gilberto Ramirez vs. Arthur Abraham, Oscar Valdez vs. Evgeny Gradovich and Jose Ramirez vs. Manuel Perez. Those are decent ESPN level fights in my view, but not on HBO PPV.
Pacquiao beat Bradley by a 12 round unanimous decision last Saturday night by the scores of 116-110, 116-110 and 116-110 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao knocked Bradley down twice in the fight in the 7th and 9th rounds.
In 2012, Pacquiao-Bradley brought in 700,000 PPV buys on HBO. Their second fight in 2014, brought in 800,000 PPV buys. I guess Arum figured that because of the relative success of the first two fights between the two fighters, the third fight would have to do the same numbers. What Arum failed to factor in was the angry fans there unhappy with the Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight last year in May. That was the one were prices were hiked through the roof by the event organizers of that fight.
The PPV prices were an all-time high, and the tickets were even worse. The undercard was basically just something thrown together with a little known fighters involved in less than thrilling fights. To top It off, Pacquiao then revealed after the fight that he had fought with an injured shoulder against Mayweather, and yet he still felt like he won.
It was that kind of thing combined with the fact that Pacquiao had already arguably beaten Bradley twice before that obviously made the fight less than desierable for the boxing fans. When you sell an old product, whether it be old hamburger or an old beat up VHS tape, you’ve got to lower the price so that people will feel it’s worth purchasing.
From what I could see, the price for the Pacquiao vs. Bradley 3 fight was the normal price for Pacquiao’s fights, which was crazy because it was an old product. If it had been me as the promoter, I would have dropped the price for Pacquiao vs. Bradley III fight at a bargain basement price of $1.99, and I think I would have still been charging too much for the fight. I think the fans would have been willing to pay $2 to see Pacquiao vs. Bradley, but not more than that in high numbers.