In what now stands as the year’s highest performing pay-per-view event, HBO Sports notched 1.25 million buys with its Dec. 6 presentation of the welterweight bout between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao.
At a going rate of $54.95 per order, the De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight brought in around $68.7 million.
While Saturday’s fight notched a little more than half the all-time PPV record––the De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather tilt of May 5, 2007, landed 2.4 million buys and $134.4 million––it easily outdistanced the last two HBO events. October’s Kelly Pavlik-Bernard Hopkins fight drew a disappointing 190,000 buys, while the Nov. 8 Joe Calzaghe-Roy Jones Jr. showcase picked up 225,000.
In 19 PPV fights, De La Hoya has brought in nearly $700 million, on 14.1 million buys.
Amid fears that the economic crisis would prevent fight fans from ponying up for what was being promoted as The Dream Match, two sponsors stepped forward to offer rebates. Heineken USA import Cerveza Tecate, which has a standing two-year relationship with De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, provided a $20 mail-in rebate inside specially-marked 12-packs, while Coca-Cola offered a similar deal through its Full Throttle energy drink brand.
Last week’s fight may well serve as De La Hoya’s final turn in the ring. The overmatched 35-year-old lost by a TKO after failing to answer the bell for the ninth round. Judges scored the fight for Pacquiao 80-71, 80-71 and 79-72.