FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Our reporting was spot on, looks like. Hours after we posted this, ESPN's Dan Rafael posted confirmation from Tom Loeffler, lead promoter of the event. Dan wrote: The Gennady Golovkin-David Lemieux middleweight title unification fight on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York generated “just over” 150,000 pay-per-view buys, K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler told ESPN.com on Thursday night.
Success is too often measured in numbers in this nation, so obsessed with numerical bottom lines. Because I feel this way, I often leave the numbers discussions to other folks…but I do realize that I cannot substitute my taste and ideaology all the time for my readers'…and thus I will now talk some numbers.
Some of you watched the Saturday pay-per-view broadcast topped by a Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux fight. Only, not as many as the planners might have hoped.
Before the tangle, we heard that a buy number of 200,000 would be solid. Well, indications are that number won't be reached. Fight Hype first reported a guesstimate of 150,000 or so buys, and I spoke to a PPV expert today. The dish/satellite guys, In Demand, DirectTV, Dish, they probably won't accumulate more than 135,000 or thereabouts buys between them, he said. So, with that knowledge, and then tallying in the various cable companies' reports, my man said he thinks that Fight Hype number, of around 150,000 will prove to be pretty accurate. “Lots of competition is to blame,” my guy told me. “The Mets game, college football…it underperformed.”
He said big market baseball playoff games are always something he roots against if he has a fall PPV on the docket, and yeah, the Mets are big market. “Anytime you don't bring in so much of that casual fan, because they are watching other things, you're effed,” he said. So, define effed…In this case, being that they probably had 19,000 paying customers in MSG contributing a nice take, and with about 150,000 paying $50 a head, the planners will do OK. The platform providers get their half, and Golovkin gets maybe 45%, I'll guess, of each PPV bought…so you figure Lemieux gets his $1.5 million and Gennady will bank a tidy sum, a good takeaway for a night's work.
With the right foe–and yes, that's not easy to find in this bifurcated marketplace–I think Golovkin does that much better next time.
Me, I'll be happiest when the PPV model gets scrapped, and Joe Q Fan doesn't have to absorb regular add-on hits to his cable bill. But if and when that happens, I have no way of knowing.