Wasa-B's thoughts: DLH/PBP PPV



Thursday, May 10, 2007 - by Ivan Trembow

There's the other "De La Hoya Fight does 2.1mil buys!" thread going and its a lengthy one so lots of discussion that already too.

Some interesting quotes however from Trembow's article and props to mmaweekly for, like Max Kellerman, keeping it real, no matter what side of the fence your on, first and foremost. We all have our favourites but you when start the BS just to polish your your side's arguement, you lose respect.

I found the "THE MYTH OF BOXING AS A DYING SPORT'" portion very interesting:

"Much like Jim Lampley's thoughts on the subject of mixed martial arts, the whole notion of boxing as a "dead sport" or a "sport that needs to be saved" is based largely on ignorance of the facts. The facts are that last year was the second-biggest year in boxing history at the pay-per-view box office, with $177 million in gross PPV revenue for HBO.

It would also be inaccurate to say that boxing can't draw decent PPV buyrates without Oscar de la Hoya. While De la Hoya vs. Mayorga was boxing's biggest event in 2006, it only generated $42 million out of the $177 million in HBO's gross PPV revenue last year. The remaining $132 million in gross PPV revenue was drawn by fights that did not feature De la Hoya.

One of the reasons for the existence of this false perception about boxing's fortunes is the dramatic rise of the UFC on the PPV landscape in 2006. Even with boxing having its second-biggest year ever in 2006, the UFC surpassed boxing for the first time ever in 2006, with gross PPV revenue of $222,766,000 generated by UFC PPVs in 2006.

The drastic increase in the UFC's pay-per-view buyrates did not appear to negatively affect boxing's PPV buyrates. In fact, a major boxing PPV and a major UFC PPV aired at the same time on PPV last November, and neither event suffered any significant ill effects as a result of the head-to-head competition. There is some crossover between the two sports' fans, but nowhere near as much as one might assume.

Though many hardcore MMA fans hate the pro wrestling industry with a passion, the fact remains that MMA's audience overlaps much more with pro wrestling's audience than it does with boxing's. It has been pro wrestling, not boxing, that has seen its United States PPV buyrates collapse as the UFC's PPV buyrates have increased. It is pro wrestling, not boxing, that shares a similar demographic breakdown with the UFC. The #1 demographic for boxing is people over the age of 50. The UFC doesn't draw particularly well among 35-to-49-year-olds, much less people over the age of 50."

To HL some of the interesting facts:

  • Boxing did its second best year in history for PPVs in 2006

  • the UFC surpassed boxing in PPV revenue for the first time in 2006

  • DLH/Mayorga was the biggest boxing PPV in 2006 at $42 mil but "the remaining $132 mil..was drawn by fights that did not feature DLH."

  • The fact that the UFC surpassed boxing even when it was boxing's second best PPV year in history signals that the UFC is so much taking crowds from boxing but from PRO-WRESTLING!

  • Boxing's #1 demographic is those over 50, while the UFCs stronghold is obvioulsy the younger crowds

Some of my thoughts:

  • Boring and exciting fights happen in both sports
  • I do agree with Dana's statement and think the UFC/Pride's are a better PPV value with multiple fights where as DLH/PBF was, what, $50-60 and it didnt really deliver (though i did enjoy too, just not hugely) and the undercards on boxing are usu. insignificant

*** The fact that the UFC has been "stealing" fans from WWE and not boxing (though the over 50 demographic from boxing will fade eventually obviously) confirms what should be pretty obvious to all but in what ive been saying that although imo Ive always believed Dana & Zuffa have done an unreal job in the progress of the UFC and MMA as a sport but its still a catch 22 ive thought all along in that its that stable and big base demographic is also the boo'ing in 30 seconds when no blood is spilled.

Its a bit ironic i think because while UFC hardcores have been pointing out the involvement and inter-relations of Pro-Wrestling in Japan and Pride (and rightly so), while the UFC may not have any actual prowrestlers fighting in the UFC, the crowd sure makes it feel like a night at the WWE.

Again, its a tricky thing but the way in which Zuffa is marketing the UFC also perpetuates this imo. I do think TUF can be used as vehicle for more educating of the sport now that it seems there is a stable and healthy established fan-core. They could show more intricasies of the training and strategis in preparations for the matchups. IMO the UFC does not do enough of this in the big matchups, Rogan will talk about it in bottom line terms but in other sports, there is way more knowledge and detail in discussing pre-match strategies and keys for each side.

They had those Marc Laimon educational clips for a while but i think thats long been forgotten and though i think the general knowledge of the crowd has risen a lot (those at the sports bars now cheer and "ohh!" sub attempts and escapes), the crowds are still quick to get bored (often when they shouldnt). Since you can only show so much grappling education clips, i think one suggestion could be for someone like Laimon or whoever to demonstrate likely scenarios for a particular matchup and then show the key for both fighters (how to set up the td vs. Chuck, replay Gonzaga's strategy against CC and how he could use that vs others, etc).

At any rate, im MMA first and foremost but im glad boxing's still in healthy shape. Again, boring and exciting fights happen in both sports. To those who complain about the boringness of DLH/PBF, point taken, i was frustrated at times too but im sure lots of you calling it boring are the same ones who think the grappling in MMA is boring - cuz you dont know too much about it.

Also, another recent big fight in boxing was Marquez/Barrera and thats one of the best fights ive seen. We've heard that styles make fights but that term was used in boxing long before MMA and for good univeral reason.


no comments on stealing the crowd from wrestling, not boxing?