Showtime has yet to release the final viewership figures for their December 1st boxing match between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, but The Ring’s Mike Coppinger has reported that the fight is tracking to “surpass 300K buys.”
300K buys isn’t a particularly impressive figure – Mayweather/Pacquiao did 4.6 million -, but when you consider that break-even was 250,000, that neither fighter had ever fought on U.S. PPV before and that it was the highest grossing heavyweight PPV fight in 15 years, Showtime has to be pleased.
The event’s buy total would have been higher, had the premium cable network been able to prevent unauthorized streams of the broadcast; the U.K. based piracy tracker Muso estimated that just shy of 10 million fans ripped off the card worldwide, including more than 1.9 million here in the U.S.
Showtime priced the PPV event at $74.99 – for comparison purposes, The Match was just $19.99 – so it’s likely that the price was a factor in driving at least some fans to piracy.
It’s impossible to peg just how many fans illegally streaming the fight would have bought the show had it been more difficult to obtain, but if just 5% of the 2 million illegally watching in the U.S. did, Showtime would have seen an extra 100K buys; at $75/per, that’s $7.5 million in lost (or stolen) revenue.