Pay Per View in Boxing: Are Fans Getting Screwed At The Moment?
Long before I started covering boxing, I can remember as young kid growing up eagerly awaiting big Mike Tyson and Prince Naseem Hamed pay per view fights. Man, happy days.
It was and still is to an extent, accepted that the really big fights find themselves onto pay per view platforms, whether they be in the US, UK or elsewhere.
But there has to be a balance and more than anything, there needs to be the quality of fight on show to justify fans sitting down and spending their hard earned cash on an evening of boxing, which in most cases is already extra on top of what they are paying for their regularly monthly TV bill.
It’s a catch twenty two, as without the funding that pay per view provides, it’s very difficult for promoters to come up with the cash to pay the purses of what some of the biggest names in the professional sport of boxing need, certainly based on the rights fees that were available in recent years.
But that model could become a mute point in that regard now, too, as the digital revolution we are currently immersed in continues to wreak havoc over not just boxing pay per view events, but live sporting and entertainment events the world over.
The advent of streaming sites in recent years has been apparent for everyone to see, but it’s the instantaneous ability now for any user to upload live video streams on services like Periscope, Facebook live video and many others, that perhaps is causing more problems for the pay per view model than ever before.
These people are not streaming sites, they are regular folk, with a smartphone and access to the internet, powered with an ability to share on the go live video coverage — at anytime.
It makes me wonder about what the future of the pay per view model is in boxing.
Will it switch to a purely online realm where rights holders can police things with internet security measures? Then again, what’s to stop someone streaming something off a computer or smartphone screen as opposed to a TV screen?
Quality is definitely compromised it would be reasonable to assume, granted, but I’m not sure it would be enough of a deterrent to stop people. It’s interesting times we are living in.
In my opinion, if a fight is a massive showdown between two household names, that fans genuinely want to see, then I don’t mind buying a pay per view or two, maybe two or three times a year — in an ideal world.
But it’s the flooding of the market we are seeing of pay per view in recent years that might slightly work against the current internet trend of users streaming and using live video of fights.
Perhaps if boxing fans didn’t think they were getting screwed in the first place to buy pay per view, than the advent of these type of services wouldn’t have rocketed in growth like they have, nor the growing intent of boxing fan’s to avail of them.
Just a thought.
Maybe we’ll see more and more big fights starting to go on to YouTube to be live streamed soon. It’s hard to see how a pay per view model in boxing would fit in with that, though.
Originally published at www.boxingnewsandviews.com on May 17, 2016.