Though there is a public perception that the UFC has far outpaced boxing in terms of pay-per-view sales, Fertitta said it’s not the case, at least not in terms of pay-per-view sales and revenue per fight. There are only a handful of major boxing pay-per-view cards each year, while the UFC puts on 14-16. Inevitably, though, the largest pay-per-view results are from boxing cards.
As a result, Fertitta pointed out, those fighters make more.
In September, Mayweather-Ortiz sold 1.25 million pay-per-view units and generated $78.44 million in revenue. In November, the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez bout did 1.5 million pay-per-view buys. Though no official revenue number was announced, it was well over $70 million.
Such numbers are vastly larger than those for the UFC, which also charges $10 to $25 less for its pay-per-view cards than big-time boxing events. The UFC charges $44.95 for pay-per-view. Major boxing events go for up to $70, but change according to the card.
In addition, major boxing events draw a significantly higher paid gate. Pacquiao-Marquez did an $11.6 million gate, while Mayweather-Ortiz did $9 million. The largest-ever UFC gate was $12 million for UFC 129, but the next biggest was UFC 66 at $5.397 million.
“The numbers that a Pacquiao or Mayweather fight will do, relative to ours, are not even close,” Fertitta said. “When you talk about it, first of all, their [pay-per-view] price point is higher. You’re talking about them doing 1.2, 1.5 million buys. The reality is, we’ve done that one time. Beyond that, we have a tremendous success story, but a lot of our fights are doing 300,000, 400,000. Our gates aren’t $12 million. You see what our gates are: Sometimes, they’re $2 million. Sometimes, they’re $3 million, but the revenue equations aren’t even close.”