Showtime: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor 'trending' to break 4.6 million PPV buys record

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor’s one-off fight last Saturday is “trending” to set a record for the most pay-per-view buys.

Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza told USA TODAY Sports that current estimates have the bout – won by Mayweather – in the “mid to high” four million range for purchases in the U.S. and Canada. The pay-per-view record is 4.6 million, which was established when Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao in 2015.

“We would love to break that record, but even if we come up just short, the event was still a massive success financially and by other measurements,” Espinoza said.

The final number will not be determined until later next week as the reports from all distributors are collected, Espinoza said. Showtime announced an initial figure for Pacquiao-Mayweather of 4.4 million purchases before it was revised days later to 4.6 million.

Earlier this week, UFC President Dana White claimed “The Money Fight” did 6.5 million buys, which would shatter the record set by Mayweather-Pacquiao.

Mayweather (50-0 boxing), returning to the ring after nearly two years in retirement, started slow against UFC lightweight champ McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC, 0-1 boxing) before taking over with a pressing attack of body shots in the fourth round. As McGregor began to fade, Mayweather landed at will to the head, knocking the Irish champ around the ring in the eighth and ninth rounds before finishing him off at the 1:05 mark of the 10th. Afterward, Mayweather announced his 50th win would be his final fight.

The Showtime pay-per-view from Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena was touted as the most widely distributed pay-per-view event in history, with multiple broadcast and online platforms beaming it to one million homes. But fight-night demand overwhelmed several of those platforms. Fans reported spotty – or dark – screens through cable providers such as Verizon Fios, Comcast and Frontier. UFC streaming partner UFC.tv completely crashed, leading to outrage online.

So overwhelmed was the UFC’s online platform that one customer service rep advised a disgruntled customer to seek out an illegal stream of the fight. Not long after Mayweather stopped McGregor, a Showtime pay-per-view customer filed a class-action lawsuit, claiming the premium channel had robbed him of a normal viewing experience.

Showtime on Monday promised refunds to its customers with issues getting the pay-per-view, and UFC President Dana White did the same after a vague promise to take care of fans left out. Some fans disputed cable charges with their banks, while others reported receiving refunds.

Espinoza said only “a small number” of customers were impacted and the refunds won’t have “a meaningful”  impact on the number of PPV buys.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie