In my best “Buggles” voice: Internet killed the pay-per-view (PPV) star.
Despite a heated rivalry that ended with one of the greatest heavyweight title fights of all time, the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder boxing trilogy was unable to meet Top Rank CEO Bob Arum’s lofty pre-fight goal of one million PPV buys.
“I think it performs better than the second fight on pay-per-view, and the reason I say that is Tyson has become huge in the United States,” Arum told iFL TV. “People of all ethnic groups really get a kick out of him, and he’s a lot better known now than when we did the second fight.”
Their 2020 rematch finished with 850,000 PPV buys.
Fury-Wilder 3 returned “just under” 600,000 purchases on the domestic front, according to Yahoo Sports analyst Kevin Iole, with another 300,000 coming in from overseas. The PPV cost $79.99 to purchase and was split between ESPN and FOX Sports.
Fury stopped Wilder by way of eleventh-round knockout.
Even with gate sales in excess of $10 million, the best-case scenario has Fury vs. Wilder 3 breaking even after factoring in the guaranteed purses and production costs, as well as the aggressive marketing campaign that was forcibly extended after “The Gypsy King” contracted COVID-19, pushing their original date of July 24 all the way to Oct. 9.
It’s also worth mentioning that PPV is not the moneymaker it was several years ago. In addition to illegal streams, plentiful enough to drive this guy crazy, cash-strapped fight fans can get live updates and real-time play-by-play at any one of hundreds of websites (like this one), or follow a highlights stream on Twitter.
For more results and coverage from Fury vs. Wilder 3 click here.