10:42am PT by Michael O'Connell
Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight to Pull North of $500 Million, Shattering Records
It should come as little surprise that the most expensive event in pay-per-view TV history was also it's highest-grossing.
The long-awaited May 2 showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, dubbed "The Fight of the Century," earned more than $400 million in TV buys alone — easily topping the previous $150 million record set in 2013 by the Mayweather-Canelo fight.
Views for the event, a rare revenue share for HBO and Showtime, essentially cost $100 a pop, with cable and satellite providers charging $89.95 and an almost obligatory extra $10 for high definition. Showtime and HBO estimate that the audience for the fight topped 4.4 million buys, nearly double the old 2.48 million record.
All told, the event is expected to earn more than $500 million in revenue. Additional dough from the live gate at Las Vegas' MGM Grand totaled north of $71 million. (The previous record being $20 million.) International television distribution, sponsorships, closed-circuit and merchandise sales, which will further drive up the total, have not yet tallied.
Leading up to the fight, experts projected the event would bring in between 3 million and 4 million buys, with a gross around $350 million. HBO and Showtime went on the offensive well before the fight to combat piracy and ensure as big of a crowd as possible, filing a big injunction against nine anonymous defendants behind unauthorized live Internet streams.