Neither Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) nor Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) had ever headlined a US pay-per-view event prior to last weekend’s thrilling WBC heavyweight title clash, so it was a real question mark as to how well their fight would fare in terms of buys.
Heading into December 1st, the “break even” point for the PPV to be considered profitable was 250,000 domestic buys. According to Ring Magazine’s Mike Coppinger, early returns are promising.
Sources: It’s early, but #WilderFury is tracking at over 300,000 pay-per-view buys. The break-even point was 250,000, I’m told, so a big win for Showtime and PBC— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) December 5, 2018
It’s looking like the number will come in a bit north of 320,000 https://t.co/6BU8RYBWsC— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) December 5, 2018
320,000 buys would not include digital sales or the purchases on BT Sport Box Office in the United Kingdom, so it’s specifically Showtime PPVs ordered through traditional cable and satellite providers.
Wilder and Fury fought to a split draw, scoring two knockdowns of Fury that effectively saved his title. A rematch between these two could be one of those rare instances where the sequel does more buys and brings in more money than the original.
This should be looked upon as a success if the numbers are accurate. Wilder’s star power has clearly boomed in 2018 when you add in the fact that his dramatic KO vs. Luis Ortiz in March was Showtime’s highest-rated fight of the year. Both Wilder and Fury should be praised for their heavy promoting of the matchup, and Fury in particular has won back fans from a watchability standpoint after his dreadful yet fully deserved upset win vs. Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.
For context, the heavyweight division has largely been a PPV non-entity in the United States for more than a decade, largely due to a lack of high-end American talent in the division. This figure would be the best US buyrate for a heavyweight boxing PPV since 525,000 buys for Roy Jones Jr over John Ruiz in 2003.
In terms of overall domestic PPVs for boxing and MMA this year, 320,000 would only be lower than UFC 229, 226, 223, and 200. The only other major boxing PPV this year was Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin 2, so by default this will be the second-biggest boxing PPV of 2018.
Wilder and Fury’s respective purses for this fight were $4 million and $3 million, but the PPV revenue generated means they’ll both easily reach eight figures when all is said and done. Multiple outlets have reported Wilder would make around $14 million to Fury’s $10 million.