Crawford vs Postol: PPV cost vs purses

Joseph Herron Updated
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Tonight, Saturday, July 23, Terence Crawford will take on Viktor Postol will battle to determine 140 pound supremacy in your main event of the evening from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Top Rank produced fight card, Crawfod vs Postol, will be broadcast at 9PM ET/6PM PT, via HBO PPV with a price tag of $49.99 in DS/$59.99 in HD.

Many fight fans don't understand why this fight card, albeit a great headliner between the two perceived best Junior Welterweights in the world, is being forced on the real bosses of boxing by way of HBO PPV, especially when a comparable match-up like the recently staged "Thurman vs. Porter" was featured on free, mainstream CBS.

Both situations are completely different and shouldn't be compared.

To the dismay of most die-hard fight fans, the purchasers of this PPV are indirectly making up for the millions of dollars lost by HBO's investment in Pacquiao/Bradley III. The singular, Top Rank event was greatly responsible for the sizable budget deficits Home Box Office is currently experiencing after guaranteeing huge purses to both Manny and Tim.

Consequently, the brass at HBO weren't willing to guarantee a $2 million purse without the benefit and added revenue generated by the PPV platform.

Here are tonight's paydays for the four featured bouts on the televised portion of the PPV presentation:

  • Main Event: Crawford ($1.3 million) vs. Postol ($675K)
  • Co-Main Event: Valdez ($140K) vs. Rueda ($30K with money from Argentine TV)
  • 2nd Contest: Benavidez Jr ($50K) vs. Santana ($50K)
  • Opening Bout: Gvodzdyk ($30K) vs. Karpency ($50K)

Crawford vs Postol PPV Projection: Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has projected a figure of roughly 80K PPV buys needed at the $50/60 price tag just to break even with this endeavor.

I'm sure right now many readers and interested fight fans are breaking out their calculators and thinking to themselves, "How does Arum believe 80K purchases will be needed to break even this evening when the figures at $50/60 don't add up?"

Most boxing pundits and even many prizefighters don't realize that the cable and satellite distributors demand 50% of all proceeds generated in PPV sales. Because the communication companies not only deliver the package on fight night, but also collect the great majority of the proceeds through their respective billing services, promoters have little to no choice but to give companies like Time Warner Cable and Direct TV their very steep and arguably unreasonable 50% commission.

Bob's 80K figure is fairly accurate.

Will this event meet such a meager projection?

Arum believes fight fans should have no trepidation in supporting a quality like Crawford vs. Postol, and questions why such criticism is frequently expressed by the so-called "fans" of the sport, as well as the often intrusive boxing media.

"UFC makes their customers pay for lesser match-ups on a regular basis, and you don't hear the same criticisms from media members or avid MMA fans," argues the 84 year old fight promoter. "Why the double standard?"

Why indeed?

If the real bosses of boxing truly appreciate their "beloved" boxing, they will choose to buy this match-up between the perceived two best fighters of the Super Lightweight division. The health of the platform and its commitment to the sport greatly depends on their collective support.


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