When they said the Floyd Mayweather long-awaited bout against Manny Pacquaio would be the richest in boxing history, not everyone knew you’d practically have to be rich to afford to order it on pay-per-view.
Having to be rich to have the fight beamed into your home may be an overstatement, but not by much.
HBO and Showtime confirmed to ESPN.com that the suggested retail price for the May 2 fight is $89.95—the most expensive in history.
On top of that, if you really want clarity there could be another $10 added to it to see it in high definition. That would make it $100 to watch a fight that could be an all-time great. . . but also could be a dance contest.
Neither fighter is at his peak as they were five years ago when this fight was first discussed as a super fight. Now, it’s super legacies, with flashes of the greatness they embodied.
The suggested retail price is not only a new record for a boxing pay-per-view event, it is nearly 40 percent above the previous high. The previous high of $64.95 (some providers have charged an extra $10 for HD) was established by Mayweather in his fight against Canelo Alvarez in Sept. 2013. Mayweather’s subsequent fights against Marcos Maidana also hit that number.
The fight is expected to break the record for pay-per-view revenue of $152 million, which was for Mayweather’s fight against Alvarez, and most buys (2.5 million), which was for Mayweather’s fight against Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.
Those who can’t afford to buy the fight in the comfort of their own home might plan to go to a bar, but there’s a question as to whether some bars will want to make the investment to bring the fight in. Why? Because bars are charged based on their legal occupancy.
The owner of a high-end New York City sports bar said that the fight will cost him $21 a person that night, which he’ll happily absorb, but he can see how other establishments that generate less revenue might take a pass. For that rate, so will many people at home.