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Big price, big expectations for Mayweather-Pacquiao pay TV | Chicago Tribune

And, of course, the pay-per-view price has gone up. It will cost people $99.95 to watch Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight Manny Pacquiao Saturday night.

Cost aside, more than 3 million people are expected to buy the megafight for their homes, helping make it the richest fight ever. The bout is set to break records for both number of buys (the current mark is 2.48 million for Mayweather’s 2007 fight with Oscar De La Hoya) and total pay-per-view revenue ($150 million, set by Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez in 2013).

The $99.95 price tag most systems will charge is the most for any fight, though fans will be able to get up to a $50 rebate by buying beer from sponsor Tecate. Taffet, senior vice president of sports operations and pay-per-view for HBO, said that if people are making an event out of it, they can justify the cost by the number of people attending.

“When you take the cost of pay-per-view and divide it by the number of viewers in each house we expect the cost averages out to that of a movie ticket,” Taffet said. “The cost of the refreshments for the viewing parties usually exceeds the cost of the pay-per-view telecast.”

The early indications are that the price won’t be a deterrent for a lot of people. Taffet said several distributors had already sold more than 10,000 pay-per-views with nearly two weeks left before the fight, which is unheard of in a business that relies on last-minute decision making.

…Yes, it’s a lot pricier than the $35.95 charged to watch Holyfield beat Foreman. And the argument could be made to wait a week when a tape of the fight will almost surely be broadcast for free on both networks.

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Big price, big expectations for Mayweather-Pacquiao pay TV.

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