Although, the biggest fight of the century turned out to be a flop on the entertainment side, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao did at least do one thing right on May 2nd, 2015 — it made a lot of money. Nobody can argue that Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Showtime Networks did an excellent job of promoting the boxing event. Mayweather didn’t hold back a word to the press and even at times was a bit controversial when he revealed he is “better than Ali” to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
Despite some of the negative backlash before the historical event, the contest still managed to draw a ton of celebrities and a decent Vegas crowd considering how expensive tickets sold for. We still don’t know exactly how much the event earned at the gate and other forms of commerce, but we at least now know how much money it made on pay-per-view (PPV).
According to Showtime, the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao PPV broadcast generated 4.4 million buys, thereby setting an all-time record for any event aired in that space.
Initial reports from distributors indicate that the event generated more than 4.4 million U.S. buys and more than $400 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue alone. With additional revenue from the live gate at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, international television distribution, sponsorships, closed circuit and merchandise sales, the event is expected to generate in excess of $500 million in gross worldwide receipts.
The PPV numbers where officially announced yesterday by Showtime Networks and HBO, as well as the promoters of the event, Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank, Inc. On May 2nd, Mayweather defeated Pacquiao by unanimous decision, with two judges scoring it 116–112 and the other 118–110.