By: Sean Crose
From Sport’s Business outlet Sportico:
“Showtime is projecting roughly 1 million pay-per-view buys for Sunday’s boxing match between YouTube celebrity Logan Paul and retired champion Floyd Mayweather, according to a source familiar with the numbers.”
That’s not all.
“Perhaps equally important for Showtime, Sunday was the network’s biggest day of new subscriptions since its Showtime Streaming Service launched in 2015, according to the person (source), who was granted anonymity because the numbers are private.”
Let it sink in, folks. A 44 year old man and a social media kid got at least a million individuals to purchase an 8 round exhibition match between the two. Whether people approve of of novelty matches like Mayweather-Paul or not, they’re clearly what the public wants. For if the above report is true, novelty boxing is not only burying other boxing pay per views, it’s beating up most UFC pay per views, as well.
Be ready for more. A lot more. Novelty boxing matches have been around forever. Never, though, have they been as clearly beloved as they are now. What’s really amazing is the promotions aren’t hiding what these fights are. No one said Mike Tyson and Roy Jones would be their old selves when they met last fall. No matter. The pay per view event they headlined brought in well over a million buys. Jake Paul’s recent fight with former UFC notable Ben Askren brought in over a million buys, as well. Neither man had ever been in the ring with a professional boxer.
Make no mistake about it, none of these novelty bouts will bring in the kinds of numbers fights like Mayweather-Pacquiao, Mayweather-McGregor, or even Mayweather-Canelo did back in 2013. They’re still making money, though. Lots of money. They’re also getting a ton of attention. Ask you coworkers if they know who Canelo is. Then ask if they’re familiar with the Paul brothers. Then again, don’t. The results will most likely depress you if you’re a serious combat sport fan.
The Paul brothers, Logan and Jake in particular, have found the key to success that fighters like Mayweather and McGregor learned before them – and that’s playing the heel. People love to see the bad guy get his comeuppance, and will cough up a ton of money in the hopes of seeing it happen. Jake Paul, for instance, is at least as obnoxious as the younger versions of Mayweather and McGregor were. Thing is, he isn’t nearly as good a fighter as them. Who even knows how the man would do against a top ten contender? The truth, though, is that no one seems to care.
There’s no denying novelty fights can be fun. Yet when they become the most successful shows in a sport that brings in talented athletes from the poorest corners of the earth they begin to become off-putting.
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