A Response to Montero on Boxing: PPV & Sustainability to the American Scene

Michael Montero who does boxing commentary on YouTube via Montero on Boxing and is a writer for Ring Magazine touched upon the topic of pay per view costs on the fans and the success these cards have had. His video is off the back of a tweet he put out illustrating the cost of buying every Showtime PPV event since 2019 not taking into account the monthly subscription fees. His tweet resulted in a degree of backlash so this video is him reinforcing his point. His argument is that the cost of the these PPV events is hurting the growth of the sport among fans while taking advantage of them at the same time. He also points out how there has not been a one million buy event in that span but UFC has cracked that mark. A vast majority of the fights did not even break half a million purchases. Just a decade or two ago a PPV fight with the biggest stars in the sport would be seen as a huge embarrassing failure if it did not break a half a million. I am going to quote my response to his video below from the YouTube comment section.

There was a time when PPV meant the biggest fights, even Floyd would fight on HBO against some of his lesser opponents and PPV for the more marquee match ups. The issue I have is when a fighter has a good PPV and then keeps being on PPV regardless of whether or not the match up is PPV worthy. I want to see the fighters get paid, they put their body on the line and take all of the risks. However, PPV at least in the model that it has been put forward these last 5 years is a detriment to the fans and the growth of the sport. I want PPV to die so boxing can become more accessible to new fans and on more available platforms. I am happy when an unworthy PPV bombs but it never seems to send the message that maybe they should change. I will say I worry that when the PPV’s bomb that networks and services will see boxing as not popular or a weak sell thus further hindering its ability to get air time.

I cut the chord 3-4 years ago and I like watching boxing on ESPN+ and DAZN and picked up Sling and can watch the odd NBC Sports card here and there and PBC on FOX. My fear is that if boxing moves completely app based it might be tough for it to be accessed. Most sports bars play ESPN, FOX, ABC, NBC etc on a constant running and it gets baseball, football, basketball etc and thats how a fan can walk in and watch a random game and maybe get hooked on a new sport, team, or player. If fights go to app services I worry that you take a niche sport and make it even more niche than it already is. I guess over time apps will take over and maybe bars will start having DAZN on the TVs for example but I can just see it being a problem.

George Goddiess

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