The mega rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury had plenty of promotion behind it, and as such it drastically outperformed their first fight in 2018... but did it still underperform?
The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger reports that the North American buyrate for Wilder vs. Fury 2 is not going to break the magical 1 million mark, but it did get at least 800,000 buys.
Sources: The rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury generated in the neighborhood of approxmately 800,000 to 850,000 pay-per-view buys in North America. Best performance - by far - for a heavyweight title fight since Tyson-Lewis in 2002. Wilder-Fury 1 sold around 325K buys— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) February 27, 2020
According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, streaming purchases from the ESPN+ and FOX Sports App were major drivers for that total buyrate, whereas traditional cable and satellite providers fared much worse.
This is more or less what I’m hearing, too.— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) February 27, 2020
Digital buys—ESPN-plus, Fox Sports App—overperformed.
Traditional cable, DTV did not.
Privately, officials hoped for 1 to 1.1 millions, effectively break even numbers. https://t.co/c2Z1OIjgZW
This is still one of the best-selling boxing events not to involve Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, or Canelo Alvarez in quite some time, so it’s still a big number but probably not as big as it could have been. I suppose if you combined North American and United Kingdom together, then this did eclipse one million buys, but we don’t really view cards that way.
The February 22nd event was priced at $80, a whole $5 cheaper than the pay-per-view cost for their December 2018 matchup. Even though you could’ve purchased the event for $70 in standard definition, let’s just use simpler math and assume all purchases were $80, meaning Fury’s seventh-round TKO over Wilder generated between $64 million and $68 million in PPV revenue.
Wilder vs. Fury 2 also topped out at a $16.9 million live gate, making it the 7th largest boxing gate in the history of Nevada. In other words, this card generated a lot of money.
Was it a commercial success in the sense that it turned a profit? That remains to be seen given there are presumably other revenue factors we haven’t uncovered. The magnitude of the heavyweight championship capturing the attention of the American public is something we frankly haven’t seen in the United States in a long time. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum was hopeful that this would do at least 1 million North American buys, the fight week promotional push felt like we would see it happen, but it looks like they’ll come up just short.