by Boxing Insider News
Amid rumors that they may have drawn fewer than 900,000 subscribers for Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero, Showtime revealed on Friday that it expects, from its early numbers, that it will wind up having drawn over a million pay per view fans.
According to Stephen Espinoza, who runs Showtime’s sports division, the results were encouraging, to say the least. ”The fact the event generated at least 1 million buys and didn’t have the benefit of a Mayweather opponent who had been in pay-per-views or was a well-established name in the sport is a huge testament to Floyd’s buying power,” he said.
So Mayweather’s initial partnership with Showtime may not have been as much of a disaster as was originally thought, if the numbers Showtime is forecasting are correct.
Espinoza mentioned the gun arrest Guerrero experienced a couple of weeks before the fight as a factor in the fight not doing better. When Mayweather fought Miguel Cotto last May in Las Vegas, the telecast drew 1.5 million subscribers for HBO, which Mayweather left to sign a six-fight deal with Showtime.
The network, in conjunction with CBS, which is under the same corporate umbrella, put forth a major effort to promote Mayweather and this bout. In fact, there was a documentary about Mayweather that was placed into CBS’ prime time schedule, and while it drew the lowest ratings of any prime time show for the broadcast network in April, it did reach targeted boxing fans, who may have purchased the pay per view.
Some have speculated as to how the news about PPV subscriptions might impact the attitude of Showtime toward Mayweather’s next fight. It has been said that if the numbers were very disappointing, representing a big financial loss for Showtime, they might pressure Mayweather to fight Canelo Alvarez, who brings a big Latin following and is the top 154-pounder, while Floyd is tops at 147.
Espinoza has expressed that despite the million mark being exceeded, he is interested in a fight with Alvarez anyway, since in his words, “For my money the biggest fight out there is Mayweather vs. Canelo.”
Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, who has a promotional contract with Alvarez, is trying to push the issue with Mayweather’s people, and undoubtedly Showtime is jumping into the fray. “So far talks are going well and I believe everyone involved is going to be working to make it happen,” he was quoted in a wire story.
Mayweather has completed one of the six fights for which he has agreed with Showtime. There was some talk about his preference for other foes, including IBF 147-pound champion Devon Alexander, which has gone back for months. issues that will impact a deal for the Alvarez fight include the purse structure, as well as the weight. That would be the case for both sides.
Right now things are very much up in the air as far as the date (September 14) is concerned. Top Rank, a hated rival of Golden Boy, has announced that a WBO welterweight title fight between Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on that night, but Arum is not interested in going head-to-head with Floyd Mayweather on that date. He will make alternate plans if Mayweather decides that he wants to fight on that date, but it is still not clear what he will do if Alvarez, and not Mayweather, fight on that show.