Showtime Boxing chief Stephen Espinoza addresses claims from promoters Eddie Hearn and Oscar De La Hoya that pay-per-view is dead in boxing.
“Look, on the concept of PPV we’ve consistently said that it’s a useful tool when it’s necessary, when you have a premium event,” said Espinoza on a conference call this week. “If you’ve got a filet mignon event, you’re going to have filet mignon prices. You don’t get filet mignon at the price of ground beef.
“I think a lot of the blowback and the negativity around PPV comes when networks are trying to sell people PPVs that don’t belong there.
“I didn’t hear too many people saying that Wilder versus Fury was not a premium event, a special event, a heavyweight title fight, an international worldwide title fight that deserved to be PPV.
“Likewise, on January 19 you have two of the biggest stars in the sport. Manny has a long history on PPV and the way this event was able to happen was through that tool. So these two events, plus Mayweather and McGregor, are the only PPVs we’ve done in the last three years.
“So, I understand what Eddie Hearn and Oscar De La Hoya are saying. It’s a great marketing ploy and that’s really all it is is just a catchphrase because both of those guys rely on PPV and have relied on it as an integral part of their business in the past.
“Eddie on one hand will say that they’re are terrible thing and they’re dead, but if we look at his U.K. business it’s basically all built on PPV.
“Oscar himself while he’s saying that boxing PPVs are dead is simultaneously selling an MMA PPV. So, the reality is, it’s a useful tool. It rewards the fighters for taking tough fights and it allows some fights to happen that wouldn’t otherwise happen without that tool. But it should be used sparingly.”