De La Hoya-Pacquiao gets 1.25 million pay-per-views
HBO pay-per-view just announced that Saturday's welterweight bout between Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya attracted 1.25 million customers at $54.95 a purchase, falling far short of De La Hoya's record bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. last year (2.4 million buys) but still standing as the biggest draw of 2008 and marking just the fourth non-heavyweight bout to have more than 1 million buys.
The fight generated more than $70 million in pay-per-view revenue, HBO announced, and the bout's live gate at MGM Grand surpassed $17 million, promoters said.
In the week before the fight, Pacquiao promoter Top Rank said its goal was 1.5 million buys, but even with a rebate program program in place, the economic downturn since the May 2007 De La Hoya-Mayweather Jr. bout made a profound difference.
Top Rank's Bob Arum said Tuesday he was braced for an HBO report between 1.2 million and 1.5 million, and said, "Anything above 600,000 is a profit." De La Hoya was guaranteed $20 million, and Pacquiao and his promotion company were guaranteed $11 million.
"Boxing fans across America showed tremendous support for this event and we're pleased that they tuned in," said Mark Taffet of HBO pay-per-view.
Pacquiao won the fight convincingly, and De La Hoya's corner threw in the towel before the ninth round started.
Other non-heavyweight bouts to exceed 1 million buys (correcting an earlier version of this post) include the De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad fight in 1999 and the De La Hoya-Bernard Hopkins bout in 2004.*
The Pacquiao-De La Hoya fight will be replayed on HBO Saturday at 1:45 p.m. with the pay network's broadcast of a heavyweight title fight pitting Wladimir Klitschko agaisnt Hasim Rahman.
-- Lance Pugmire
* Corrected the year to 2004 from 2006 at 8:50 p.m.
Photo: Manny Pacquiao, center, arrives at Quiapo Church in Manila, Philippines, for Mass on Wednesday. Credit: Bullit Marquez / Associated Press