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Showtime exec: Mayweather-McGregor has ‘a very good shot of breaking’ PPV record

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Showtime Sports executive vice president and general manager Stephen Espinoza explains the pay-per-view process after an event and how close Mayweather-McGregor is to breaking the pay-per-view buys record.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Conor McGregor World Press Tour - New York Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

A week and a half removed from Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor, Showtime Sports executive vice president and general manager Stephen Espinoza is confident “The Money Fight” broke the pay-per-view buys record, but still doesn’t know for sure.

In an interview with Ariel Helwani on Tuesday’s The MMA Hour, Espinoza explained how the post-event pay-per-view model works and what is expected to be seen after an event.

“We have numbers, which are reported, which are expected to grow,” he said. “With the way pay-per-view works, we get numbers, and then they sort of trickle in going forwards. We are now sort of mid-four millions (which, Espinoza said, means 4.5 million give or take 100-200k). If we see the growth that we typically see, then we’ll break the record. I don’t want to assume that we’ll get the typical growth, because this is not a typical event. There are many different ways in which this event behaved differently. But we have a very good shot of breaking the record.”

The record is currently held by Mayweather’s win over Manny Pacquiao in 2015, which earned 4.6 million purchases. But it sounds like that “Fight of the Century” won’t be the record holder for much longer.

“On Mayweather-Pacquiao, we announced a new record 10 days after the fight at 4.4 (million). Right now, today, it’s at 4.6 (million). Even that 4.4, that was an estimate of where we’d end up. The numbers you get the week after the fight usually go up 10 to 15 percent. So there are all these numbers that sort of straggle in in a variety of different ways because of technology. I just don’t want to assume we’re going to get that 10 to 15 percent, because I don’t want to in two weeks have to say, ‘Well, sorry, we didn’t actually break the record.’”

The mid-4 million number Espinoza provided includes traditional means of purchasing pay-per-view events (cable and satellite), as well as all digital outlets, in North America. It does not include bars and restaurants, he said, nor the international purchases.

Internationally, Espinoza said, Mayweather-McGregor did outstanding numbers just like in North America (and specifically the United States).

“UK was most likely a record setter, as well. Australia, Spain did very, very well, as well,” he said. “Internationally, (Mayweather-McGregor) was as big as Mayweather-Pacquiao — if not bigger.”