Ward vs Kovalev PPV: Cost, streaming info and timeWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Tonight on HBO PPV, Sergey Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs), the WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion will face Andre Ward (30-0, 15 KOs), a two-time world super middleweight champion who is now a legitimate light heavyweight.
Ward vs Kovalev is one of the best match-ups over the last ten years and the biggest, most significant fight of 2016, and, perhaps, one of the most significant bouts in light heavyweight history.
To call it a premium match-up would be an understatement.
Ward vs Kovalev PPV
Date: November 19, 2016
Start Time: 9pm ET
Cost: $59.95/$69.95 standard definition/high definition
Order through your cable service provider
Network: HBO PPV
Location: Las Vegas
Venue: T-Mobile Arena
Division: Light Heavyweight
Titles: WBA, IBF, WBO; (Mythical) Top Pound for Pound status
Champion: Sergey Kovalev
Favorite: Slightly Ward
*Ward vs Kovalev actual start time: Looking for the main even to start around 11PM ET.
Ward vs Kovalev PPV live stream online
Unfortunately, if you don't have cable you might not be able to watch this bout at home or on your computer. Unlike Pacquiao vs Vargas a few weeks ago, there appears to be no legal live stream online service.
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Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward PPV buys prediction
So how will Kovalev vs Ward perform at the box office?
A fight of this magnitude deserves to get at least 1.5 million buys. And if casual fans knew more about the fighters, Ward vs Kovalev would, at the very least, flirt with 1.25 - 1.75 million buys.
But according to BoxingScene.com, Kovalev's promoter, Kathy Duva, insists 250,000 -300,000 buys would be a reasonable expectation.
One concern is PPV cost. PPV prices have increased while casual fans' interest level has decreased. Quality match-ups, ever since Floyd vs Manny, aren't generating the level of interest they deserve. In addition, Kovalev vs Ward will be competing with Manny Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas, another PPV showdown earlier this month. Many Americans would rather not see an additional $120-$140 added to a single month's cable bill.
Also, and of more significance, Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev, despite their magnificent accomplishments, aren't household names in the U.S. like Mayweather, Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto. In fact, they aren't yet on the same level as emerging mainstream stars Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez. Keep in mind, May's superfight between Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan was rumored to have garnered 450,000 - 500,000 buys.
But Ward vs Kovalev is a hardcore fan's dream. Any boxing fan without an extremely high interest in this bout isn't a true junkie. As a result, don't be surprised if it exceeds Ms. Duva's modest expectations.
Perhaps the winner of this fight will become a mainstream star and international icon a la Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.