Author: Bohumil Králík
Did you enjoy this match?PHOTO: DAZN
The boxing match between reigning heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and MMA star Francis Ngannou offered a shocker in which the British favorite came close. But the match was primarily supposed to be a commercial blockbuster. According to one of the insiders, however, it was a spectacular flop in terms of PPV (paid broadcast) sales. However, exactly the opposite conclusions are beginning to appear from the appointed places.
Fury’s duel with Ngannou created a stir throughout the sports world, but according to combat sports pundit and behind-the-scenes expert Dave Meltzer, its viewership fell far short of expectations.
“The PPV sales were nowhere near Canelo (Álvarez) or (Nate) Diaz vs. Jake Paul. I’m yet to get the exact numbers, but it’s pretty sure they’re going to be terrible,” Meltzer told Wrestling Observer Radio.
By the way, Jake Paul claimed that he sold 800,000 PPVs for his fight with Tommy Fury, and 450,000 people then, according to him, bought the broadcast of his fight with Diaz. Canelo’s title fight with Jermell Charle should have paid for 700,000 fans via streaming services.
In Great Britain, people had to pay 21.95 pounds (approx. 600 CZK) for the PPV broadcast of the Fury – Ngannou battle via the TNT Sports Box Office service, and in the USA, 79.99 dollars (over 1700 CZK) via ESPN+.
Half a million paying in the UK alone?
However, Meltzer’s claim was strongly rejected by Turki Alalšich, who organized the event in Saudi Arabia with Fury in the lead role.
“So far, I only have numbers from DAZN, which has over 200,000 subscribers, and this fight only covered the market outside the US, Great Britain, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. I think and I hope this will be one of the most watched pay-per-view fights in history,” Alalšich told The MMA Hour.
Although PPV numbers for UFC fights traditionally remain far behind buys from premium boxing events, Meltzer claims that the Fury-Ngannou fight did not even sell 70,000 streams combined through TV PPV sales and ESPN+.
Although Meltzer is recognized as a man who has the ability to look into similar statistics, in this case, his data is not very trusted on the scene. For example, according to World Boxing News, it is estimated that around half a million people paid for the broadcast in Great Britain alone.
Sales numbers cannot be officially verified unless the broadcasters themselves publish them. In addition, perhaps in the case of the Fury vs. Ngannou eventually runs out. Because in the public space, especially on social networks, the prevailing opinion is that this cross over fight was a flop in terms of stream sales.
Especially when the possibility of retaliation is looming, it is quite likely that the promoters and owners of the broadcast rights will not want to let the opinion that it was an economic problem prevail spontaneously.