Pay-per-view (PPV) is a type of pay television or webcast service that enables a viewer to pay to watch individual events via private telecast.
Events can be purchased through a multichannel television platform using their electronic program guide, an automated telephone system, or through a live customer service representative. There has been an increasing number of pay-per-views distributed via streaming video online, either alongside or in lieu of carriage through television providers. In 2012, the popular video sharing platform YouTube began to allow partners to host live PPV events on the platform.
Events distributed through PPV typically include boxing, mixed martial arts, professional wrestling, and concerts. In the past, PPV was often used to distribute telecasts of feature films, as well as adult content such as pornographic films, but the growth of digital cable and streaming media caused these uses to be subsumed by video on demand systems (which allow viewers to purchase and view pre-recorded content at any time) instead, leaving PPV to focus primarily on live event programs and combat sports.
The earliest form of pay-per-view was closed-circuit television, also known as theatre television, where professional boxing telecasts were broadcast live to a select a number of venues, mostly theaters, where viewers paid for tickets to watch the fight live. The first fight with a closed-circuit telecast was Joe Louis vs. Jersey Joe Walcott in 1948. Closed-circuit telecasts peaked in popularity with Muhammad Ali in the 1960s and 1970s, with "The Rumble in the Jungle" fight drawing 50 million buys worldwide in 1974, and the "Thrilla in Manila" drawing 100 million buys worldwide in 1975. Closed-circuit television was gradually replaced by pay-per-view home television in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Zenith Phonevision system became the first home pay-per-view system to be tested in the United States. Developed in 1951, it used telephone lines to take and receive orders, as well as to descramble a television broadcast signal. The field tests conducted for Phonevision lasted for 90 days and were tested in Chicago, Illinois. The system used IBM punch cards to descramble a signal broadcast during the broadcast station's "off-time". Both systems showed promise, but the Federal Communications Commission denied them the permits to operate.
One of the earliest pay-per-view systems on cable television, the Optical Systems-developed Channel 100, first began service in 1972 in San Diego, California through Mission Cable (which was later acquired by Cox Communications) and TheaterVisioN, which operated out of Sarasota, Florida. These early systems quickly went out of business, as the cable industry adopted satellite technology and as flat-rate pay television services such as Home Box Office (HBO) became popular.
While most pay-per-view services were delivered via cable, there were a few over-the-air pay TV stations that offered pay-per-view broadcasts in addition to regularly scheduled broadcasts of movies and other entertainment. These stations, which operated for a few years in Chicago, Los Angeles and some other cities, broadcast "scrambled" signals that required descrambler devices to convert the signal into standard broadcast format. These services were marketed as ON-TV.
The first home pay-per-view cable television broadcast was the Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson rematch in 1960, when 25,000 TelePrompTer subscribers mailed $2 to watch Patterson regain the heavyweight title. The third Patterson–Johansson match in 1961 was later viewed by 100,000 paid cable subscribers. Muhammad Ali had several fights on early pay-per-view home television, including Cassius Clay vs. Doug Jones in 1963, and Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston which drew 250,000 buys on cable television in 1964.
Professional boxing was largely introduced to pay-per-view cable television with the "Thrilla in Manila" fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in September 1975. The fight sold 500,000 pay-per-view buys on HBO. There was also another major title fight aired on pay-per-view in 1980, when Roberto Durán defeated Sugar Ray Leonard. Cable companies offered the match for $10, and about 155,000 customers paid to watch the fight.
A major pay-per-view event occurred on September 16, 1981, when Sugar Ray Leonard fought Thomas "Hitman" Hearns for the World Welterweight Championship. Viacom Cablevision in Nashville, Tennessee – the first system to offer the event – saw over 50 percent of its subscriber base purchase the fight. Leonard visited Nashville to promote the fight, and the event proved such a success that Viacom themed its annual report for that year around it. Viacom marketing director Pat Thompson put together the fight, and subsequently put together additional PPV fights, wrestling matches, and even a televised Broadway play.
After leaving Viacom, Thompson became head of Sports View and produced the first pay-per-view football game on October 16, 1983: a college football game between the University of Tennessee and the University of Alabama from Birmingham, Alabama. Sports View played a role in building pay-per-view networks, and became the early pioneer in developing TigerVision for Louisiana State University, TideVision for Alabama and UT Vol Seat for Tennessee. Sports View also produced the Ohio State-Michigan football game for pay-per-view in November 1983.
In 1985, the first pay-per-view cable channels in the United States – Viewer's Choice (now In Demand), Cable Video Store, First Choice and Request TV – began operation within days of each other. Viewer's Choice serviced both home satellite dish and cable customers, while Request TV, though broadcasting to cable viewers, would not become available to satellite subscribers until the 1990s. First Choice PPV was available on Rogers Cablesystems in the United States and Canada. After Paragon Cable acquired the Rogers Cablesystems franchise in San Antonio, Texas, First Choice continued to be carried until Time Warner Cable bought Paragon in 1996. In the United States, pay-per-view broadcasters transmit without advertisements, similar to conventional flat-rate pay television services.
The term "pay-per-view" did not come into general use until the late 1980s when companies such as Viewer's Choice, HBO and Showtime started using the system to show movies and some of their productions. Viewer's Choice carried movies, concerts and other events, with live sporting events such as WrestleMania being the most predominant programming. Prices ranged from $3.99 to $49.99, while HBO and Showtime, with their event production legs TVKO and SET Pay Per View, would offer championship boxing matches ranging from $14.99 to $54.99.
ESPN later began to broadcast college football and basketball games on pay-per-view through its services ESPN GamePlan and ESPN Full Court, which were eventually sold as full-time out-of-market sports packages. The boxing undercard Latin Fury, shown on June 28, 2003, became ESPN's first boxing card on pay-per-view and also the first pay-per-view boxing card held in Puerto Rico. Pay-per-view has provided a revenue stream for professional wrestling circuits such as WWE, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling (AEW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Ring of Honor (ROH) and Lucha Libre AAA World Wide (AAA).
WWE chairman and chief executive officer Vince McMahon is considered by many as one of the icons of pay-per-view promotion. McMahon owns the domain name payperview.com, which redirects to the WWE Network website.
With the rise of direct broadcast satellite services in the 1990s, this meant more services exclusively for DBS users appeared. DirecTV had Direct Ticket (which, in addition to movies and special events, also included PPV sports packages, most notably NFL Sunday Ticket), while Dish Network had Dish On Demand. PrimeStar, on the other hand, utilized pre-existing services like Viewer's Choice and Request TV (as it was owned by a number of major cable providers), though promotional material bannered all PPV services under the name of PrimeCinema.
In 2006, HBO generated 3.7 million pay-per-view buys with $177 million in gross sales. The only year with more buys previously, 1999, had a total of 4 million. The former record fell in 2007 when HBO sold 4.8 million PPV buys with $255 million in sales. BY 2014, HBO had generated 59.3 million buys and $3.1 billion in revenue since its 1991 debut with Evander Holyfield-George Foreman.
1999 differed radically from 2006: 1999 saw four major fight cards: De La Hoya-Trinidad (1.4 million buys), Holyfield-Lewis I (1.2 million), Holyfield-Lewis II (850,000) and De La Hoya-Quartey (570,000). By contrast, only one pay-per-view mega-fight took place in 2006: De La Hoya-Mayorga (925,000 buys). Rahman-Maskaev bombed with under 50,000. The other eight PPV cards that year all fell in the 325,000–450,000 range. Pay-per-view fights in that range almost always generate more money for the promoter and fighters than HBO wants to pay for an HBO World Championship Boxing license-fee.
In May 2007, the junior middleweight boxing match between Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. on HBO PPV became the biggest-selling non-heavyweight title fight, with a little more than 2.5 million buyers. The fight itself generated roughly $139 million in domestic PPV revenue, making it the most lucrative prizefight of that era. The record stood until 2015 before it was broken by Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao in a fight dubbed as the "Fight of the Century" on May 2, 2015 which generated 4.6 million ppv buys and a revenue of over $400 million.
The leading PPV attraction, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has generated approximately 24 million buys and $1.6 billion in revenue. Manny Pacquiao, ranked second, has generated approximately 20.1 million buys and $1.2 billion in revenue. Oscar De La Hoya, has "sold" approximately 14 million units in total, giving $700 million in domestic television receipts and stands third. In fourth place in buys, Evander Holyfield has achieved 12.6 million units ($550 million); and at fifth, Mike Tyson has reached 12.4 million units ($545 million).
Ross Greenburg, then president of HBO Sports, called the expansion of pay-per-view "the biggest economic issue in boxing", stating "I can't tell you that pay-per-view helps the sport because it doesn't. It hurts the sport because it narrows our audience, but it's a fact of life. Every time we try to make an HBO World Championship Boxing fight, we're up against mythical pay-per-view numbers. HBO doesn't make a lot of money from pay-per-view. There's usually a cap on what we can make. But the promoters and fighters insist on pay-per-view because that's where their greatest profits lie."
"It's a big problem," Greenburg continues. "It's getting harder and harder to put fighters like Manny Pacquiao on HBO World Championship Boxing. If Floyd Mayweather beats Oscar, he might never fight on HBO World Championship Boxing again. But if HBO stopped doing pay-per-view, the promoters would simply do it on their own [like Bob Arum did with Cotto-Malignaggi in June 2006] or find someone else who will do it for them."
Former HBO Sports President Seth Abraham concurs, saying, "I think, if Lou (DiBella) and I were still at HBO, we'd be in the same pickle as far as the exodus of fights to pay-per-view is concerned."
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a mixed martial arts promotion, was a relative newcomer to the PPV market. However, the promotion experienced a surge in popularity in the mid-2000s, credited initially to the popularity of an associated reality show on the cable channel Spike, The Ultimate Fighter. UFC 52—the first UFC event since its premiere, broke the promotion's record with almost 300,000 buys (in comparison to 250,000 for UFC 5). PPV numbers escalated further in 2006, with its events taking in a gross revenue of $222 million. In October 2016, it was reported that 42% of the UFC's "content revenue" in 2015 came from pay-per-view buys, followed by U.S. and international media rights.
In 2018, UFC 229 would pull an all-time record for the promotion, with estimates indicating that the event attracted nearly 2.4 million buys, breaking the 1.65 million buy record set by UFC 202.
In March 2019, as part of a larger contract with ESPN for media rights in the United States, it was announced that future UFC pay-per-views will only be sold to subscribers of the network's streaming service ESPN+ and in May 2021, which future events are available on Hulu via the add-on.
Professional wrestling has a long history of running pay-per-view events. WWE (then WWF) launched its first pay-per-view event in 1985 with its annual flagship event WrestleMania and has run numerous others throughout the years. Although it still offers its events via traditional PPV outlets, they have also been included at no additional charge as part of a larger, subscription-based streaming service known as WWE Network, which as of 2021 is now a part of the NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock in the United States. The service also includes original programming (such as documentary-style series and other wrestling programs) and an on-demand archive of events and television episodes from WWE's library. Following WrestleMania 34, the service had 2.12 million subscribers. Since the beginning of 2022, WWE has ceased using the term "pay-per-view" and replaced it with "Premium Live Events" in promotional materials, to emphasize their carriage via subscription platforms.
Other major organizations such as World Championship Wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and All Elite Wrestling have also run pay-per-view events.
In 1999, Woodstock 1999 was broadcast via PPV from Rome, New York for people who wanted to attend but could not. The cameras were a cause of the downfall of the event.
In 2015, PPV broadcasts of the Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead tour set a record for buys for a music event, with over 400,000.
Viewers in the United Kingdom and Ireland can access pay-per-view via satellite, cable and over-the-internet television services, mainly for films, boxing, mixed martial arts and American professional wrestling via services such as Sky Box Office and BT Sport Box Office. The last couple of years has seen the number of pay-per-view boxing events significantly increase and currently all of the UK's top fights are only available via pay-per-view. Broadcasters (most notably PremPlus) have abandoned their aspirations to introduce PPV into other sports market due to poor interest from the public.
In October 2020 during the 2020-21 season, the Premier League experimented with PPV telecasts of football matches not selected for broadcasts by its main rightsholders (which are usually blacked out 3:00 p.m. kickoffs, amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, which prevents any attendance of the matches). However, the matches proved unpopular, with team supporters' groups urging fans to make donations to charity instead, and the Premier League announcing that it would allocate the extra matches among its existing rightsholders (BT and Sky, as well as Amazon Prime Video and BBC Sport, with some on free-to-air TV) through at least the end of 2020, as it had done during the conclusion of the previous season.
In Canada, most specialty television providers provide pay-per-view programming through one or more services. In all cases, prices typically range from around C$4.99 (for movies) up to $50 or more for special events.
Initially, there were three major PPV providers in Canada; Viewers Choice operated in Eastern Canada as a joint venture of Astral Media, Rogers Communications, and TSN. Western International Communications operated a separate service in the west initially known as Home Theatre; it was later rebranded as Viewers Choice under license.
Viewers Choice Canada was a partner in a French-language PPV service known as Canal Indigo, which is now entirely owned by Videotron. Bell Canada launched a PPV service for its ExpressVu television provider known as Vu! in 1999.
Home Theatre was later acquired by Shaw Communications; after gaining permission to operate nationally, it re-branded as a white-label PPV known internally as Shaw PPV in December 2007. In 2014, due to Bell Media's majority ownership of Viewers Choice because of its acquisition of Astral, and because both Bell and Rogers now ran their own in-house PPV operations (Vu! and Sportsnet PPV), Viewers Choice was shut down.
In Romania, cable communications operator UPC Romania has notified the National Audiovisual Council (CNA) on the intention to introduce in January, February 2014 at the latest, an on-demand audiovisual media service called Agerpres. According to the manager of UPC Romania-owned Smaranda Radoi UPC, will allow customers to watch movies on demand or live events; as well as broadcasts of performances, concerts and sporting events.
In November 2008, pay-per-view made its debut in Albania through Digitalb on terrestrial and satellite television, with the channel DigiGold.
In France, launched in the late 1990s, Canalsat (Ciné+) and TPS (Multivision) operate their own pay-per-view service. While CanalSat holds the rights to live soccer matches for France's Ligue 1, TPS had the rights for Boxe matches. In 2007, Multivision service ceased by the end of TPS service which merged with Canalsat. Nowadays, Ciné+ is the only existing pay-per-view service in France.
In Croatia, Fight Channel is broadcasting martial arts events organized by the world's most prominent fighting organizations, such as the UFC, K-1, HBO Boxing, Dream, Glory WS, World Series of Boxing etc. and its pay-per-view service covers the Balkans region.
Sky Deutschland, accessible in Germany, Austria and partially in Switzerland, provided nine PPV-Channels called "Sky Select", where their regular Pay-TV customers can see movies or various sports events such as boxing or soccer. As of 1. October 2020 only sport and wrestling events remained on PPV as movies were changed towards a streaming service.
Per nations with Pay-Per-View or PPV system in South América:
In Argentina, Torneos y Competencias is a producer and sports events organization that are broadcasts live main matches of Argentine Soccer in four categories on TyC Sports, TyC Max (six channels), TyC Sports 2, TyC Sports 4 and TyC Sports 5.
In Brazil, in the soccer main matches of Serie A (Six games per matchday) and Serie B (Four games per matchday) in two categories of Brazilian Soccer are broadcast live on Premiere FC and SporTV. The Serie C Championship are broadcast live on SporTV with two games per matchday in Pay TV. In other sports are broadcast live on NBB TV (Exclusive channel of Brazilian Basketball League in Premium system).
In Chile, the exclusive rights of Chilean Soccer are owned by TV Fútbol and broadcast live on a channel called Canal Del Fútbol (The Soccer Channel), also known CDF. Sports Field S.A. has exclusive rights to games on the Chilean professional basketball league, which are broadcast live vía CDO (Premium Signal).
In Paraguay, the Teledeportes producer business have exclusive rights to broadcast live main matches of Paraguayan Soccer in four categories vía Tigo Max and Tigo Sports. Teledeportes have live broadcast of Paraguayan Basketball League broadcast Tuesday at 9:00 pm on Tigo Sports (K.O 21:15) and Wednesday at 8:55 pm on Tigo Max (K.O 21:10).
In Uruguay, the Tenfield producer business and sports events organization have television exclusive rights for the Uruguayan soccer and basketball club championships, which are broadcast on VTV and VTV Plus.
Foxtel and Optus Vision introduced pay-per-view direct to home television in Australia in the mid-to-late 1990s. Foxtel had Event TV (until it transformed into its current form; Main Event) while, Optus Vision had Main Attraction Pay-Per-View as its provider. As of 2005, Main Event is the current pay-per-view provider through Foxtel and Optus cable/satellite subscription.
Sky Pacific started a service in Fiji in 2005 and then expanded into American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati (East), Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, with one, out of their 25 channels, being Pay-Per-View.
In Malaysia, Astro's Astro Box Office service launched in 2000 in the form of the free-to-air "Astro Showcase".
In Japan, SkyPerfecTV subscribers can receive one-click pay-per-view access to hundreds of channels supplying domestic and international sporting events (including WWE events), movies, and specialty programming, either live or later on continuous repeat on its channel.
In India a pay-per-view service operates; however, pay-per-view sports broadcasts are available. Now also live events like WWE.
|Rank||Country||Annual revenue (2021)|
The following is a list of boxing fights that have generated over 1 million pay-per-view buys worldwide. These figures include closed-circuit theatre television (CCTV), pay-per-view home television (PPV), and pay-per-view online streaming (iPPV).
|Date||Fight||Network(s)||Sales||Revenue (est.)||Revenue (est. inflation)|
|March 8, 1971||Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier||
Closed-circuit theatre TV
|October 30, 1974||Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman||
Closed-circuit theatre TV
|October 1, 1975||Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III||
Closed-circuit theatre TV
|September 27, 1976||Muhammad Ali vs. Ken Norton III||
Closed-circuit theatre TV
|June 20, 1980||Roberto Durán vs. Sugar Ray Leonard||
Closed-circuit theatre TV HBO
|June 11, 1982||Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney||
Closed-circuit theatre TV
|April 6, 1987||Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler||
Closed-circuit theatre TV HBO
|June 27, 1988||Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks||
Closed-circuit theatre TV
|April 19, 1991||Evander Holyfield vs. George Foreman||
|June 28, 1991||Mike Tyson vs. Donovan Ruddock II||1,250,000||$49,142,000||$100,000,000|
|August 19, 1995||Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley||
|March 16, 1996||Frank Bruno vs. Mike Tyson II||
Showtime Sky Box Office
|September 7, 1996||Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon||
|November 9, 1996||Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield||
|June 28, 1997||Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield II||
|September 18, 1999||Oscar De La Hoya vs. Félix Trinidad||
|June 8, 2002||Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson||
|May 5, 2007||Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.||
|December 8, 2007||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton||
|December 6, 2008||Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao||
|May 2, 2009||Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton||
|September 19, 2009||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Márquez||
|November 14, 2009||Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto||
|May 1, 2010||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Shane Mosley||
|November 13, 2010||Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito||
|May 7, 2011||Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley||
|September 17, 2011||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Victor Ortiz||
|November 13, 2011||Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez III||
|May 5, 2012||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto||
|December 8, 2012||Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez IV||
|September 14, 2013||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Canelo Álvarez||
|May 2, 2015||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao||
|April 29, 2017||Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko||
Sky Box Office
|August 26, 2017||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor||
|September 16, 2017||Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin||
|March 31, 2018||Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker||
Sky Box Office
|August 25, 2018||KSI vs. Logan Paul||1,300,000||$16,500,000||$16,500,000|
|Sep 15, 2018||Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II||
|Sept 22, 2018||Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin||
Sky Box Office
|November 9, 2019||KSI vs. Logan Paul II||Sky Box Office||2,000,000|
|December 7, 2019||Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua II||
Sky Box Office
|February 22, 2020||Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury II||1,200,000||$112,900,000|
|November 28, 2020||Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.||1,600,000||$80,000,000||$80,000,000|
|June 6, 2021||Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Logan Paul||Showtime||1,000,000||$50,000,000|
Select boxing buy rates at American closed-circuit theatre television venues between 1951 and 2015:
|June 15, 1951||Joe Louis vs. Lee Savold||81,022||$100,000||$1,040,000|
|September 12, 1951||Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Randolph Turpin II||100,000||$200,000||$2,090,000|
|September 23, 1952||Rocky Marciano vs. Joe Walcott||40,000||$192,000||$1,960,000|
|September 21, 1955||Rocky Marciano vs. Archie Moore||300,000||$1,125,000||$11,380,000|
|September 23, 1957||Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Carmen Basilio||500,000||$1,750,000||$14,470,000|
|March 25, 1958||Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Carmen Basilio II||400,000||$2,000,000||$18,780,000|
|August 18, 1958||Floyd Patterson vs. Roy Harris||192,762||$763,437||$7,100,000|
|June 26, 1959||Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson||244,000||$1,032,000||$9,590,000|
|June 20, 1960||Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson II||500,000||$3,000,000||$27,480,000|
|March 13, 1961||Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson III||500,000||$2,500,000||$22,670,000|
|September 25, 1962||Floyd Patterson vs. Sonny Liston||600,000||$3,200,000||$28,670,000|
|March 13, 1963||Cassius Clay vs. Doug Jones||150,000||$500,000||$4,430,000|
|July 22, 1963||Floyd Patterson vs. Sonny Liston II||563,000||$4,747,690||$42,530,000|
|February 25, 1964||Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston||700,000||$5,000,000||$43,700,000|
|January 2, 1965||Floyd Patterson vs. George Chuvalo||300,000||$800,000||$6,880,000|
|May 25, 1965||Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston II||630,000||$4,300,000||$36,970,000|
|November 22, 1965||Muhammad Ali vs. Floyd Patterson||500,000||$4,000,000||$34,400,000|
|November 14, 1966||Muhammad Ali vs. Cleveland Williams||500,000||$3,750,000||$32,250,000|
|February 6, 1967||Muhammad Ali vs. Ernie Terrell||800,000||$4,000,000||$33,410,000|
|October 26, 1970||Muhammad Ali vs. Jerry Quarry||630,000||$3,500,000||$24,420,000|
|March 8, 1971||Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier||2,500,000||$45,000,000||$301,000,000|
|October 30, 1974||Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman||3,000,000||$60,000,000||$330,000,000|
|October 1, 1975||Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III||3,000,000||$60,000,000||$300,000,000|
|September 27, 1976||Muhammad Ali vs. Ken Norton III||1,500,000||$30,000,000||$140,000,000|
|Jun 20, 1980||Roberto Durán vs. Sugar Ray Leonard||1,500,000||$22,000,000||$72,350,000|
|June 11, 1982||Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney||2,000,000||$20,000,000||$56,160,000|
|April 15, 1985||Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns||700,000||$10,500,000||$26,450,000|
|April 6, 1987||Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler||3,000,000||$40,000,000||$95,410,000|
|June 27, 1988||Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks||800,000||$32,000,000||$73,320,000|
|June 28, 1997||Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson II||120,000||$9,000,000||$15,190,000|
|May 5, 2007||Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.||50,000||$2,750,000||$3,590,000|
|May 2, 2015||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao||173,000||$25,900,000||$29,610,000|
Select PPV boxing buy-rates between 1960 and 2022:
|June 20, 1960||Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson II||Patterson wins by KO in round 5||TelePrompTer||25,000|
|March 13, 1961||Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson III||Patterson wins by KO in round 6||TelePrompTer||100,000|
|September 25, 1962||Floyd Patterson vs. Sonny Liston||Liston wins by KO in round 1||TelePrompTer||100,000|
|February 25, 1964||Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston||Ali wins by RTD in round 6||WHCT||250,000|
|Oct 1, 1975||Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III||Ali wins by TKO in round 14||HBO||500,000|
|Jun 20, 1980||Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Durán||Durán wins by UD (145-144, 148-147, 146-144)||HBO||155,000|
|Sep 16, 1981||Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns||Leonard wins by TKO in round 14||HBO||583,200|
|Apr 15, 1985||Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns||Hagler wins by TKO in round 3||HBO||100,000|
|Apr 6, 1987||Marvin Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard||Leonard wins by SD (118-110, 113-115, 115-113)||HBO||150,000|
|Jun 27, 1988||Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks||Tyson wins by KO in round 1||HBO||700,000|
|Nov 7, 1988||Donny Lalonde vs. Sugar Ray Leonard||Leonard wins by TKO in round 9||HBO||700,000|
|Oct 25, 1990||Buster Douglas vs. Evander Holyfield||Holyfield wins by KO in round 3||Showtime||1,000,000|
|March 18, 1991||Mike Tyson vs. Donovan Ruddock||Tyson wins by TKO in round 7||Showtime||960,000|
|Apr 19, 1991||Evander Holyfield vs. George Foreman||Holyfield wins by UD (116–111, 117–110, 115–112)||HBO||1,400,000|
|Jun 28, 1991||Mike Tyson vs. Donovan Ruddock II||Tyson wins by UD (113–109, 114–108, 114–108)||Showtime||1,250,000|
|Oct 18, 1991||Ray Mercer vs. Tommy Morrison||Mercer wins by KO in round 5||HBO||200,000|
|Jun 19, 1992||Evander Holyfield vs. Larry Holmes||Holyfield wins by UD (117–111, 116–112, 116–112)||HBO||730,000|
|Sep 12, 1992||Julio César Chávez vs. Héctor Camacho||Chavez wins by UD (110-119, 111-117, 107-120)||Showtime||800,000|
|Nov 13, 1992||Evander Holyfield vs. Riddick Bowe||Bowe wins by UD (117–110, 117–110, 115–112)||HBO||900,000|
|Jun 7, 1993||George Foreman vs. Tommy Morrison||Morrison wins by UD (117–110, 117–110, 118–108)||HBO||600,000|
|Sep 10, 1993||Pernell Whitaker vs. Julio César Chávez||Majority draw (115–113, 115–115, 115–115)||Showtime||740,000|
|Nov 6, 1993||Riddick Bowe vs. Evander Holyfield II||Holyfield wins by MD (115–113, 115–114, 114–114)||HBO||950,000|
|Nov 18, 1994||James Toney vs. Roy Jones Jr.||Jones Jr. wins by UD (119–108, 118–109, 117–110)||HBO||300,000|
|May 6, 1995||Oscar De La Hoya vs. Rafael Ruelas||De La Hoya wins by TKO in round 2||HBO||330,000|
|Aug 19, 1995||Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley||Tyson wins by DQ in round 1||Showtime||1,600,000|
|Nov 4, 1995||Riddick Bowe vs. Evander Holyfield III||Bowe wins by TKO in round 8||HBO||650,000|
|Mar 16, 1996||Frank Bruno vs. Mike Tyson II||Tyson wins by TKO in round 3||Showtime||1,400,000|
|Sep 7, 1996||Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon||Tyson wins by TKO in round 1||Showtime||1,150,000|
|Nov 9, 1996||Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield||Holyfield wins by TKO in round 11||Showtime||1,600,000|
|Apr 12, 1997||Pernell Whitaker vs. Oscar De La Hoya||De La Hoya wins by UD (115–111, 116–110, 116–110)||HBO||720,000|
|Jun 28, 1997||Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield II||Holyfield wins by DQ in round 3||Showtime||1,990,000|
|Sep 13, 1997||Oscar De La Hoya vs. Héctor Camacho||De La Hoya wins by UD (120–106, 120–105, 118–108)||HBO||560,000|
|Oct 4, 1997||Lennox Lewis vs. Andrew Golota||Lewis wins by KO in round 1||HBO||300,000|
|Nov 8, 1997||Evander Holyfield vs. Michael Moorer II||Holyfield wins by RTD in round 8||Showtime||550,000|
|Jan 16, 1999||Mike Tyson vs. Francois Botha||Tyson wins by KO in round 5||Showtime||750,000|
|Mar 13, 1999||Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox Lewis||Split draw (116–113, 113–115, 115–115)||HBO||1,200,000|
|Sep 18, 1999||Oscar De La Hoya vs. Félix Trinidad||Trinidad wins by MD (115–113, 115–114, 114–114)||HBO||1,400,000|
|Nov 13, 1999||Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox Lewis II||Lewis wins by UD (116–112, 117–111, 115–113)||HBO||850,000|
|Apr 29, 2000||Lennox Lewis vs. Michael Grant||Lewis wins by KO in round 2||HBO||340,000|
|Jun 17, 2000||Oscar De La Hoya vs. Shane Mosley||Mosley wins by SD (116–112, 115–113, 113–115)||HBO||590,000|
|Sep 9, 2000||Roy Jones Jr. vs. Eric Harding||Jones Jr. wins by RTD in round 10||HBO||125,000|
|Oct 20, 2000||Mike Tyson vs. Andrew Golota||Tyson wins by TKO in round 3 (later changed to an NC)||Showtime||450,000|
|Nov 11, 2000||Lennox Lewis vs. David Tua||Lewis wins by UD (119–109, 118–110, 117–111)||HBO||420,000|
|Mar 3, 2001||Evander Holyfield vs. John Ruiz II||Ruiz wins by UD (116–110, 115–111, 114–111)||Showtime||185,000|
|Apr 7, 2001||Naseem Hamed vs. Marco Antonio Barrera||Barrera wins by UD (116–111, 115–112, 115–112)||HBO||310,000|
|Jun 8, 2001||Laila Ali vs. Jacqui Frazier-Lyde||Ali wins by MD (73–79, 75–77, 76–76)||?||125,000|
|Nov 17, 2001||Hasim Rahman vs. Lennox Lewis II||Lewis wins by KO in round 4||HBO||460,000|
|Jun 8, 2002||Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson||Lewis wins by KO in round 8||HBO/Showtime||1,970,000|
|Sep 14, 2002||Oscar De La Hoya vs. Fernando Vargas||De La Hoya wins by TKO in round 11||HBO||935,000|
|Feb 22, 2003||Mike Tyson vs. Clifford Etienne||Tyson wins by KO in round 1||Showtime||100,000|
|Mar 1, 2003||John Ruiz vs. Roy Jones Jr.||Jones Jr. wins by UD (118–110, 117–111, 116–112)||HBO||525,000|
|Sep 13, 2003||Oscar De La Hoya vs. Shane Mosley II||Mosley wins by UD (113–115, 113–115, 113–115)||HBO||950,000|
|Oct 4, 2003||James Toney vs. Evander Holyfield||Toney wins by TKO in round 9||Showtime||150,000|
|Nov 8, 2003||Antonio Tarver vs. Roy Jones Jr.||Jones Jr. wins by MD (117–111, 116–112, 114–114)||HBO||302,000|
|May 15, 2004||Roy Jones Jr. vs. Antonio Tarver II||Tarver wins by KO in round 2||HBO||360,000|
|Sep 18, 2004||Bernard Hopkins vs. Oscar De La Hoya||Hopkins wins by KO in round 9||HBO||1,000,000|
|Dec 11, 2004||Vitali Klitschko vs. Danny Williams||Klitschko wins by TKO in round 8||HBO||120,000|
|Mar 19, 2005||Érik Morales vs. Manny Pacquiao||Morales wins by UD (115–113, 115–113, 115–113)||HBO||345,000|
|Jun 11, 2005||Mike Tyson vs. Kevin McBride||McBride wins by TKO in round 7||Showtime||250,000|
|Jun 25, 2005||Arturo Gatti vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.||Mayweather Jr. wins by RTD in round 6||HBO||340,000|
|Oct 1, 2005||Antonio Tarver vs. Roy Jones Jr. III||Tarver wins by UD (117–111, 116–112, 116–112)||HBO||405,000|
|Jan 21, 2006||Manny Pacquiao vs Érik Morales II||Pacquiao wins by TKO in round 10||HBO||360,000|
|Feb 25, 2006||Shane Mosley vs Fernando Vargas||Mosley wins by TKO in round 10||HBO||415,000|
|Apr 8, 2006||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Zab Judah||Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (116–112, 117–111, 119–109)||HBO||375,000|
|May 6, 2006||Ricardo Mayorga vs. Oscar De La Hoya||De La Hoya wins by TKO in round 6||HBO||925,000|
|May 6, 2006||Manny Pacquiao vs. Óscar Larios||Pacquiao wins by UD (117–110, 118–108, 120–106)||Top Rank||120,000|
|Jul 15, 2006||Shane Mosley vs Fernando Vargas II||Mosley wins by TKO in round 6||HBO||350,000|
|Aug 12, 2006||Hasim Rahman vs. Oleg Maskaev II||Maskaev wins by TKO in round 12||HBO||60,000|
|Nov 4, 2006||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Carlos Baldomir||Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (120–108, 120–108, 118–110)||HBO||325,000|
|Nov 18, 2006||Manny Pacquiao vs Érik Morales III||Pacquiao wins by KO in round 3||HBO||350,000|
|Apr 14, 2007||Manny Pacquiao vs Jorge Solís||Pacquiao wins by KO in round 8||Top Rank||150,000|
|May 5, 2007||Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.||Mayweather Jr. wins by SD (116–112, 115–113, 113–115)||HBO||2,400,000|
|Oct 10, 2007||Manny Pacquiao vs. Marco Antonio Barrera II||Pacquiao wins by UD (118–109, 118–109, 115–112)||HBO||350,000|
|Dec 8, 2007||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton||Mayweather Jr. wins by TKO in round 10||HBO||920,000|
|Jan 19, 2008||Félix Trinidad vs. Roy Jones Jr.||Jones Jr. wins by UD (116-110, 117-109, 116-110)||HBO||500,000|
|Feb 16, 2008||Kelly Pavlik vs. Jermain Taylor II||Pavlik wins by UD (115-113, 117-111, 116-112)||HBO||250,000|
|Mar 15, 2008||Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez II||Pacquiao wins by SD (115–112, 114–113, 112–115)||HBO||400,000|
|Jun 28, 2008||David Díaz vs. Manny Pacquiao||Pacquiao wins by TKO in round 9||HBO||206,000|
|Jul 26, 2008||Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito||Margarito wins by TKO in round 11||HBO||450,000|
|Nov 8, 2008||Joe Calzaghe vs. Roy Jones Jr.||Calzaghe wins by UD (118–109, 118–109, 118–109)||HBO||225,000|
|Dec 6, 2008||Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao||Pacquiao wins by RTD in round 8||HBO||1,250,000|
|May 2, 2009||Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton||Pacquiao wins by KO in round 2||HBO||850,000|
|Sep 19, 2009||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Márquez||Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (120–107, 119–108, 118–109)||HBO||1,060,000|
|Nov 14, 2009||Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto||Pacquiao wins by TKO in round 12||HBO||1,250,000|
|Mar 13, 2010||Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey||Pacquiao wins by UD (119–109, 119–109, 120–108)||HBO||700,000|
|Apr 3, 2010||Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones Jr. II||Hopkins win by UD (118–109, 117–110, 117–110)||HBO||150,000|
|May 1, 2010||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Shane Mosley||Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (119–109, 118–110, 119–109)||HBO||1,400,000|
|Nov 13, 2010||Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito||Pacquiao wins by UD (120–108, 118–110, 119–109)||HBO||1,150,000|
|May 7, 2011||Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley||Pacquiao wins by UD (119–108, 120–108, 120–107)||Showtime||1,340,000|
|Sep 17, 2011||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Victor Ortiz||Mayweather Jr. wins by KO in round 4||HBO||1,250,000|
|Nov 13, 2011||Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez III||Pacquiao wins by MD (115–113, 114–114, 116–112)||HBO||1,400,000|
|Dec 3, 2011||Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito II||Cotto wins by RTD in round 9||HBO||600,000|
|May 5, 2012||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto||Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (117–111, 117–111, 118–110)||HBO||1,500,000|
|Jun 9, 2012||Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley||Bradley wins by SD (115–113, 115–113, 115–113)||HBO||890,000|
|Sep 15, 2012||Sergio Martínez vs. Julio César Chávez Jr.||Martínez wins by UD (118–109, 118–109, 117–110)||HBO||475,000|
|Dec 8, 2012||Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez IV||Márquez wins by KO in round 6||HBO||1,150,000|
|May 4, 2013||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Robert Guerrero||Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (117–111, 117–111, 117–111)||Showtime||1,000,000|
|Sep 14, 2013||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Canelo Álvarez||Mayweather Jr. wins by MD (117–111, 116–112, 114–114)||Showtime||2,200,000|
|Oct 12, 2013||Timothy Bradley vs. Juan Manuel Márquez||Bradley wins by SD (115–113, 116–112, 113–115)||HBO||375,000|
|Nov 24, 2013||Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Ríos||Pacquiao wins by UD (119–109, 120–108, 118–110)||HBO||475,000|
|Mar 8, 2014||Canelo Álvarez vs. Alfredo Angulo||Álvarez wins by TKO in Round 10||Showtime||350,000|
|Apr 12, 2014||Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley II||Pacquiao wins by UD (116–112, 116–112, 118–110)||HBO||800,000|
|May 3, 2014||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Marcos Maidana||Mayweather Jr. wins by MD (114–114, 117–111, 116–112)||Showtime||900,000|
|Jun 7, 2014||Miguel Cotto vs. Sergio Martínez||Cotto wins by RTD in round 10||HBO||315,000|
|Jul 12, 2014||Canelo Álvarez vs. Erislandy Lara||Álvarez wins by SD (115–113, 117–111, 113–115)||Showtime||300,000|
|Sep 13, 2014||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Marcos Maidana II||Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (116–111, 116–111, 115–112)||Showtime||925,000|
|Nov 23, 2014||Manny Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri||Pacquiao wins by UD (119–103, 119–103, 120–102)||HBO||400,000|
|May 2, 2015||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao||Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (116–112, 116–112, 118–110)||HBO/Showtime||4,600,000|
|Sep 12, 2015||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Andre Berto||Mayweather Jr. wins by UD (120–108, 118–110, 117–111)||Showtime||400,000|
|Oct 17, 2015||Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux||Golovkin wins by TKO in round 8||HBO||150,000|
|Nov 21, 2015||Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Álvarez||Álvarez wins by UD (117–111, 119–109, 118–110)||HBO||900,000|
|Apr 9, 2016||Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley III||Pacquiao wins by UD (116–110, 116–110, 116–110)||HBO||400,000|
|May 7, 2016||Canelo Álvarez vs. Amir Khan||Álvarez wins by KO in round 6||HBO||600,000|
|July 23, 2016||Terence Crawford vs. Viktor Postol||Crawford wins by UD (118–107, 118–107, 117–108)||HBO||55,000|
|Sep 17, 2016||Canelo Álvarez vs. Liam Smith||Álvarez wins by TKO in round 9||HBO||300,000|
|Nov 5, 2016||Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas||Pacquiao wins by UD (118–109, 118–109, 114–113)||Top Rank||300,000|
|Nov 19, 2016||Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward||Ward wins by UD (114–113, 114–113, 114–113)||HBO||165,000|
|Mar 18, 2017||Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs||Golovkin wins by UD (115–112, 115–112, 114–113)||HBO||170,000|
|May 6, 2017||Canelo Álvarez vs. Julio César Chávez Jr.||Álvarez wins by UD (120–108, 120–108, 120–108)||HBO||1,000,000|
|Jun 17, 2017||Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev II||Ward wins by TKO in round 8||HBO||130,000|
|Aug 26, 2017||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor||Mayweather Jr. wins by TKO in round 10||Showtime||4,300,000|
|Sep 16, 2017||Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin||Split draw (118–110, 115–113, 114–114)||HBO||1,300,000|
|Sep 15, 2018||Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II||Álvarez wins by MD (115–113, 114–114, 115–113)||HBO||1,100,000|
|Dec 1, 2018||Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury||Split draw (115–111, 113–113, 112–114)||Showtime||325,000|
|Jan 19, 2019||Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner||Pacquiao wins by UD (117–111, 116–112, 116–112)||Showtime||400,000|
|Mar 16, 2019||Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia||Spence Jr. wins by UD (120–107, 120–108, 120–108)||Fox||375,000|
|Apr 20, 2019||Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan||Crawford wins by TKO in round 6||ESPN||150,000|
|Jul 20, 2019||Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman||Pacquiao wins by SD (115–112, 115–112, 113–114)||Fox||500,000|
|Sep 28, 2019||Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter||Spence wins by SD (116–111, 116–111, 112–115)||Fox||350,000|
|Nov 09, 2019||KSI vs. Logan Paul II||KSI wins by SD (56-55, 57-54, 55-56)||DAZN||2,000,000|
|Nov 23, 2019||Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz II||Wilder wins by KO in round 7||Fox||275,000|
|Feb 22, 2020||Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury II||Fury wins by TKO in round 7||ESPN/Fox||800,000|
|Sep 26, 2020||Jermall Charlo vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko||Charlo wins by UD (116-112, 118-110, 117-111)||Showtime||120,000|
|Oct 31, 2020||Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz||Davis wins by KO in round 6||Showtime||225,000|
|Nov 28, 2020||Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.||Split draw (76-76, 79-73, 76-80)||Triller||1,600,000|
|Dec 5, 2020||Errol Spence Jr. vs. Danny García||Spence wins by UD (117-111, 116-112, 116-112)||Fox||250,000|
|May 1, 2021||Chris Arreola vs. Andy Ruiz Jr.||Ruiz wins by UD (118–109, 118–109, 117–110)||Fox||150,000|
|Jun 6, 2021||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Logan Paul||Exhibition fight, no winner declared||Showtime||1,000,000|
|Jun 26, 2021||Mario Barrios vs. Gervonta Davis||Davis wins by TKO in round 11||Showtime||200,000|
|Aug 21, 2021||Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugás||Ugas wins by UD 116-112, 116-112, 115-113||Fox||250,000|
|Aug 29, 2021||Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley||Paul wins by SD (78-74, 77-75, 75-77)||Showtime||500,000|
|Oct 9, 2021||Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III||Fury wins by KO in round 11||ESPN/Fox||600,000|
|Nov 6, 2021||Canelo Álvarez vs. Caleb Plant||Álvarez wins by TKO in round 11||Showtime||800,000|
|Nov 20, 2021||Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter||Crawford wins by TKO in round 10||ESPN||135,000|
|Dec 5, 2021||Gervonta Davis vs. Isaac Cruz||Davis wins by UD (115-113, 115-113, 116-112)||Showtime||100,000|
|May 28, 2022||Gervonta Davis vs. Rolando Romero||Davis wins by TKO in round 6||Showtime||275,000|
|Sep 17, 2022||Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin III||Álvarez wins by UD (116-112, 115-113, 115-113)||DAZN||550,000|
Select boxing pay-per-view figures (mainly from Sky Box Office) between 1966 and 2018. Many of these figures are based on BARB weekly viewing data figures.
|21 May 1966||Muhammad Ali vs. Henry Cooper II||Pay TV||40,000|||
|16 March 1996||Frank Bruno vs. Mike Tyson II||Sky Box Office||660,000|||
|9 November 1996||Naseem Hamed vs. Remigio Molina||Sky Box Office||420,000|||
|8 February 1997||Naseem Hamed vs. Tom Johnson||Sky Box Office||720,000|||
|3 May 1997||Naseem Hamed vs. Billy Hardy||Sky Box Office||348,000|||
|28 June 1997||Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson II||Sky Box Office||550,000|||
|13 March 1999||Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox Lewis||Sky Box Office||400,000|||
|29 January 2000||Mike Tyson vs. Julius Francis||Sky Box Office||500,000|||
|19 August 2000||Naseem Hamed vs. Augie Sanchez||Sky Box Office||300,000|||
|8 June 2002||Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson||Sky Box Office||750,000|||
|8 December 2007||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton||Sky Box Office||1,150,000|||
|2 May 2009||Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton||Sky Box Office||900,000|||
|18 July 2009||Amir Khan vs. Andreas Kotelnik||Sky Box Office||100,000|||
|7 November 2009||Nikolai Valuev vs. David Haye||Sky Box Office||469,000|||
|3 April 2010||David Haye vs. John Ruiz||Sky Box Office||253,000|||
|24 April 2010||Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler||Primetime||50,000|||
|18 September 2010||Kell Brook vs. Michael Jennings||Sky Box Office||15,000|||
|13 November 2010||David Haye vs. Audley Harrison||Sky Box Office||304,000|||
|11 December 2010||Amir Khan vs. Marcos Maidana||Sky Box Office||164,000|||
|16 April 2011||Amir Khan vs. Paul McCloskey||Primetime||200,000|||
|21 May 2011||George Groves vs. James DeGale||Sky Box Office||43,000|||
|2 July 2011||Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye||Sky Box Office||1,170,000|||
|25 May 2013||Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler II||Sky Box Office||32,000|||
|23 November 2013||Carl Froch vs. George Groves||Sky Box Office||47,000|||
|31 May 2014||Carl Froch vs. George Groves II||Sky Box Office||355,000|||
|2 May 2015||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao||Sky Box Office||942,000|||
|30 May 2015||Kell Brook vs. Frankie Gavin||Sky Box Office||139,000|||
|28 November 2015||Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tyson Fury||Sky Box Office||655,000|||
|12 December 2015||Anthony Joshua vs. Dillian Whyte||Sky Box Office||699,000|||
|27 February 2016||Carl Frampton vs. Scott Quigg||Sky Box Office||220,000|||
|9 April 2016||Anthony Joshua vs. Charles Martin||Sky Box Office||1,368,000|||
|25 June 2016||Anthony Joshua vs. Dominic Breazeale||Sky Box Office||617,000|||
|10 September 2016||Gennady Golovkin vs. Kell Brook||Sky Box Office||752,000|||
|10 December 2016||Anthony Joshua vs. Éric Molina||Sky Box Office||764,000|||
|4 February 2017||Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Renold Quinlan||ITV Box Office||86,000|||
|4 March 2017||David Haye vs. Tony Bellew||Sky Box Office||1,515,000|||
|29 April 2017||Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko||Sky Box Office||1,542,000|||
|27 May 2017||Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence Jr.||Sky Box Office||405,000|||
|26 August 2017||Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor||Sky Box Office||1,007,000|||
|28 October 2017||Anthony Joshua vs. Carlos Takam||Sky Box Office||1,009,000|||
|31 March 2018||Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker||Sky Box Office||1,832,000|||
|5 May 2018||David Haye vs. Tony Bellew II||Sky Box Office||1,048,000|||
|28 July 2018||Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph Parker||Sky Box Office||571,000|||
|22 September 2018||Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin||Sky Box Office||1,247,000|||
|10 November 2018||Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tony Bellew||Sky Box Office||819,000|||
|1 December 2018||Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury||BT Sport Box Office||450,000|||
|22 December 2018||Dillian Whyte vs. Dereck Chisora II||Sky Box Office||532,000|||
|1 June 2019||Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr.||Sky Box Office||652,000|||
|20 July 2019||Dillian Whyte vs. Oscar Rivas||Sky Box Office||368,000|||
|31 August 2019||Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Luke Campbell||Sky Box Office||205,000|||
|26 October 2019||Josh Taylor vs. Regis Prograis||Sky Box Office||176,000|||
|9 November 2019||KSI vs. Logan Paul II||Sky Box Office||216,000|||
|7 December 2019||Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua II||Sky Box Office||1,540,000|||
|22 August 2020||Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin||Sky Box Office||337,000|||
|31 October 2020||Oleksandr Usyk vs. Derek Chisora||Sky Box Office||1,059,000|||
|12 December 2020||Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev||Sky Box Office||948,000|||
|27 March 2021||Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte II||Sky Box Office||197,000|||
|1 May 2021||Dereck Chisora vs. Joseph Parker||Sky Box Office||145,000|||
|25 September 2021||Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk||Sky Box Office||1,232,000|||
|9 October 2021||Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III||BT Sport Box Office||300,000|||
|19 February 2022||Amir Khan vs Kell Brook||Sky Box Office||399,000|||
|20 August 2022||Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua II||Sky Box Office||1,249,000|||
The first pay-per-view mixed martial arts bout was Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki, which took place in Japan on June 26, 1976. It sold at least 2 million buys on closed-circuit theatre TV. At a ticket price of $10, the fight grossed at least $20 million (inflation-adjusted $100 million) or more from closed-circuit theatre TV revenue in the United States.
The highest buy rates for the UFC as of January 2021[update] are as follows.
Note: The UFC does not release official PPV statistics, and the following PPV numbers are as reported by industry insiders. As of April 2019, all PPV's are iPPV's, with distribution on the internet exclusively via ESPN+.
|Date||Event||Headline||Buy rate||Revenue (est.)|
|Oct 6, 2018||UFC 229||Khabib vs. McGregor||2,400,000||$180 million|
|Jul 10, 2021||UFC 264||Poirier vs. McGregor 3||1,800,000|
|Aug 20, 2016||UFC 202||Diaz vs. McGregor 2||1,650,000||$90 million|
|Jan 24, 2021||UFC 257||Poirier vs. McGregor 2||1,600,000|
|Jul 11, 2009||UFC 100||Lesnar vs. Mir||1,600,000||$82 million|
|Jan 18, 2020||UFC 246||Cowboy vs. McGregor||1,353,429|
|Mar 5, 2016||UFC 196||McGregor vs. Diaz||1,317,000||$80 million|
|Jul 11, 2020||UFC 251||Usman vs. Masvidal||1,300,000||$78 million|
|Nov 12, 2016||UFC 205||Alvarez vs. McGregor||1,300,000||$83 million|
|Jul 9, 2016||UFC 200||Tate vs. Nunes||1,200,000||$71 million|
|Dec 12, 2015||UFC 194||Aldo vs. McGregor||1,200,000||$80 million|
|Jul 3, 2010||UFC 116||Lesnar vs. Carwin||1,160,000||$55 million|
|Nov 15, 2015||UFC 193||Rousey vs. Holm||1,100,000||$60 million|
|Dec 30, 2016||UFC 207||Nunes vs. Rousey||1,100,000||$60 million|
|Dec 30, 2006||UFC 66||Liddell vs. Ortiz 2||1,050,000||$53 million|
|May 29, 2010||UFC 114||Rampage vs. Evans||1,050,000||$51 million|
|Oct 23, 2010||UFC 121||Lesnar vs. Velasquez||1,050,000||$45 million|
|Dec 28, 2013||UFC 168||Weidman vs. Silva II||1,025,000||$57 million|
|Nov 15, 2009||UFC 91||Couture vs. Lesnar||1,010,000||$47 million|
|Dec 27, 2008||UFC 92||Evans vs. Griffin||1,000,000||$48 million|
|Mar 16, 2013||UFC 158||St-Pierre vs. Diaz||950,000|
|Aug 7, 2010||UFC 148||Silva vs. Sonnen II||925,000|
|Jan 31, 2009||UFC 94||St-Pierre vs. Penn 2||920,000|
|Aug 1, 2015||UFC 190||Rousey vs. Correia||900,000|
|Nov 4, 2017||UFC 217||Bisping vs. St-Pierre||875,000|
|Jul 29, 2017||UFC 214||Cormier vs. Jones 2||860,000|
|Aug 8, 2009||UFC 101||Declaration||850,000|
|Jul 11, 2015||UFC 189||Mendes vs. McGregor||825,000|
|Mar 6, 2021||UFC 259||Błachowicz vs. Adesanya||800,000|
|Apr 30, 2011||UFC 129||St-Pierre vs. Shields||800,000|
|Jan 3, 2015||UFC 182||Jones vs. Cormier||800,000|
|Dec 11, 2010||UFC 124||St-Pierre vs. Koscheck 2||785,000|
|Mar 27, 2010||UFC 111||St-Pierre vs. Hardy||770,000|
|Dec 30, 2011||UFC 141||Lesnar vs. Overeem||750,000|
|Feb 5, 2011||UFC 126||Silva vs. Belfort||725,000|
|Nov 6, 2021||UFC 268||Usman vs. Covington||700,000|
|Dec 29, 2007||UFC 79||Nemesis||700,000|
|Apr 21, 2010||UFC 145||Jones vs. Evans||700,000|
|Nov 17, 2012||UFC 154||St. Pierre vs. Condit||700,000|
|Dec 29, 2018||UFC 232||Jones vs. Gustafsson 2||700,000|
|Apr 24, 2021||UFC 261||Usman vs. Masvidal 2||700,000|
|May 9, 2020||UFC 249||Ferguson vs. Gaethje||700,000|
|Sep 26, 2020||UFC 253||Adesanya vs. Costa||700,000|
|Oct 24, 2020||UFC 254||Khabib vs. Gaethje||675,000|
|May 26, 2007||UFC 71||Liddell vs. Jackson||675,000|
WrestleMania I in March 1985 sold over 1 million buys on closed-circuit theatre TV in the United States, making it the largest pay-per-view showing of a wrestling event in the US at the time.
The highest buy rates for professional wrestling events on pay-per-view home television as of June 2015[update] are as follows.
|1||Apr 1, 2012||WrestleMania XXVIII||1,300,000|
|2||Apr 1, 2007||WrestleMania 23||1,200,000|
|3||Apr 3, 2005||WrestleMania 21||1,085,000|
|4||Apr 3, 2011||WrestleMania XXVII||1,059,000|
|5||Mar 30, 2008||WrestleMania XXIV||1,058,000|
|6||Apr 7, 2013||WrestleMania 29||1,048,000|
|7||Apr 1, 2001||WrestleMania X-Seven||1,040,000|
|8||Mar 14, 2004||WrestleMania XX||1,007,000|
|9||Apr 2, 2006||WrestleMania 22||975,000|
|10||Apr 5, 2009||WrestleMania XXV||960,000|
|11||Mar 28, 2010||WrestleMania XXVI||885,000|
|12||Mar 17, 2002||WrestleMania X8||880,000|
|13||Apr 2, 2000||WrestleMania 2000||824,000|
|14||Mar 28, 1999||WrestleMania XV||800,000|
|15||Jul 22, 2001||WWF Invasion||770,000|
|16||Apr 2, 1989||WrestleMania V||767,000|
|17||Mar 24, 1991||WrestleMania VII||764,000|
This tables lists the sportsmen who have had the highest pay-per-view sales, with at least 10 million buys. It includes sportsmen who have participated in boxing, mixed martial arts, and professional wrestling.
|Sportsman||Total sales (est.)||Closed-circuit theatre TV||PPV home television||Years||Sport(s)|
|Muhammad Ali||162,944,000||162,154,000[b]||790,000[b]||1963–1985||Professional boxing|
|Mixed martial arts|
|Joe Frazier||100,500,000||100,000,000||500,000||1965–1981||Professional boxing|
|Floyd Mayweather Jr.||29,090,000||223,000||28,867,000[c]||2005–2017||Professional boxing|
|Manny Pacquiao||22,214,000||173,000||22,041,000[d]||2005–2019||Professional boxing|
|Mike Tyson||20,700,000||920,000[e]||19,780,000[e]||1988–2020||Professional boxing|
|Triple H||20,329,000||—||20,329,000[f]||1995–2019||Professional wrestling|
|Conor McGregor||18,400,000||—||18,400,000[g]||2015–2021||Mixed martial arts|
|John Cena||15,389,000||—||15,389,000[f]||2002–2021||Professional wrestling|
|Oscar De La Hoya||14,140,000||50,000||14,090,000[i]||1995–2008||Professional boxing|
|Anthony Joshua||13,441,000||—||13,441,000[j]||2015–2021||Professional boxing|
|Brock Lesnar||12,771,000||—||12,771,000[k]||2002–2020||Professional wrestling|
|Mixed martial arts|
|Evander Holyfield||12,720,000||120,000||12,600,000||1984–2003||Professional boxing|
|Shawn Michaels||10,160,000||—||10,160,000[f]||1988–2018||Professional wrestling|
Teleprompter's main-spring, Irving B. Kahn (he's chairman of the board and president), had a taste of closed circuit operations as early as 1948. That summer, Kahn, then a vice president of 20th Century-Fox, negotiated what was probably the first inter-city closed circuit telecast in history, a pickup of the Joe Louis-Joe Walcott fight.
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Noting that many in the arts community have rested their hopes on pay cable, Mr. Jencks recalled that during a pay-TV experiment over WHCT(TV) Hartford, Conn., 96% of all viewing time was devoted to motion pictures and sports events. A single boxing match between Sonny Liston and Muhammad Ali, Mr. Jencks said, attracted nearly four times as many subscribers as the cumulative total of all 50 "educational features" offered by WHCT over a two-year period.
No, if the Ali-Foreman story is just going to be about Race and Religion, forget the millions of dollars this fight can make, forget the shot in the arm this championship bout will give to boxing, forget gigundo grosses from the documentary movies of the fight, the training camps and that three-day black music festival in Zaire, forget that possible total of $100 million in revenues
Soit, pour Don King et ses amis, c'est la fin de leurs dépenses d'énergie pour trouver de l'argent nécessaire pour le coup le plus formidable jamais réalisé dans le show-boxing business et il prévoit une recette pouvant aller de 35 à 100 millions de dollars.
Average BSkyB [...] 1996 [...] 5m [...] 1997 [...] 5.8m [...] UK-based boxing promoter, Frank Warren in June 1997 described championship boxing as: the most honest form of TV [...] Our first match (Bruno v Tyson) created a 14 per cent buy-rate (660 000 subs) even at 5 a.m. 'Judgement Night' got 420 000 subs (9 per cent). The 'Night of Champions' 720,000 buys or 15.5 per cent and the 'Brit Pack' on May 3  achieved a 6 per cent buy rate
TYSON TKOs BRUNO in 5th round on Mar. 16. Revenues $98 million.
Then I heard very quickly that they did 1.3 million pay-per-view buys.
A crowd of 31,892, who paid $824,814 and a closed-circuit TV audience of 500,000
Tyson's lowest buy rate was in his first fight with Donovan (Razor) Ruddock, which registered 960,000 buys.
An estimated 420,000 ppv customers watched the event, bringing BSkyB's 50 per cent share in the revenue to more than £25 million. 'Judgement Night' augured a new experience for fans of boxing, packaged and glossily delivered by television. [...] In the run-up to 'Judgement Night' Evans argued that Hamed thrived on the adrenaline rush of 'putting on a show' as much as he appeared to relish 'the pleasurable anticipation' of knocking out his opponent.
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Probably the dullest event in sports history, it was watched by millions over closed-circuit television as well as by suckers in Tokyo who forked over $1,000 per ringside seat.
That buy rate was still 196,000 more than the biggest Wrestlemania event ever, the March 1991 Wrestlemania VII, which produced 764,000 buys.
The highest buy rate for a Wrestlemania event came during the March 1991 Wrestlemania VII, which produced 764,000 buys.