Wilder vs Fury 2 PPV buys: A success overall?

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Lee Cleveland Updated
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Last weekend's heavyweight superfight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder was the biggest, most significant heavyweight event since Mike Tyson vs Lennox Lewis in 2002.

Earlier today, Mike Coppinger announced that Wilder vs Fury 2 generated between 800-850,000 PPV buys. And according to Chris Mannix, digital buys through ESPN+ and the FOX Sports app saved the night, doing better than expected. Traditional cable underperformed.

Of note, their first bout in December 2018 saw 325,000 PPV purchases at $75 while last weekend's event was $80.

Although promoter Bob Arum inisited months ago the card would generate 2 million buys, those 'in the know' realized that number was unrealistic from the beginning. And although the Wilder vs Fury 2 PPV buyrate wasn't terribly disappointing, promoters were targeting at least 1 million buys.

The live gate of of $16,916,440, on the other hand, broke the Nevada record for a heavyweight fight. Wilder vs Fury 2, as of Feb 26, 2020, is the seventh-highest gate overall in Nevada history.

Revenue tallies
The Wilder vs Fury 2 card generated at least $81 Million in PPV revenue and at the live gate. We don't how much money was earned from sponsorships and international broadcasts.

Estimates with piracy
It wouldn't be surprising if more fans "stole" this fight via black hat websites than paid for it. Overall, viewers probably saw the fight live on 3-4 million viewing stations (TVs, phones, desktops)  in the United States alone.

Was Fury vs Wilder 2 a success overall?
Yes, but barely.

The level of buzz and mainstream and international interest it created as well as the electric atmosphere and record-breaking live gate made up for the PPV target 's missing by about 15%.

Moreover, the fight itself, although one-sided, had good action as one fighter provided fireworks. It was also a public anointing of sorts for Fury who became boxing's consensus real and legitimate heavyweight champion.

(Anthony Joshua has 3 of the 4 belts but Fury is the lineal champion)'

Lastly, both fighters should get at least the $25 Million they were promised without promoters going into the red. And credit to Fury for his charisma, antics, including his post-fight singing, and overall happy presence that helped make the night enjoyable.

Fury vs Wilder 3 next?
Had last week's event generated at least 1.3 million buys, it would have been easier to pull the trigger on an immediate third fight. But, given the one-sidedness of the first rematch, those involved will have to get really creative to make an immediate trilogy bout anywhere near as profitable as last weekend's card.

 

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