Phil Jay 29/09/2019
Official figures have been released for Sky Sports Box Office events featuring victories for Dillian Whyte and Vasyl Lomachenko respectively.
According to the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB), Whyte and Lomachenko topping the bills weren’t enough to be deemed successes on Pay-Per-View.
Whyte vs Oscar Rivas, a fight which bred plenty of controversy after the clash, sold just 289,000. The numbers are way below the usual standard for the platform.
Heavyweight contender Whyte, the WBC number one, only managed half the views gained by old foe Anthony Joshua (562,000) for his fight with Andy Ruiz Jr. in New York
This despite Joshua v Ruiz being televised in the UK at 4am.
It gets worse for Sky as Matchroom Boxing’s next offering sold even less.
The weekly viewing summary for Sky Box Office Event buys between 26th August 2019 and 1st September 2019 showed Lomacheko’s victory over Luke Campbell managed a poor 205,000 buys.
This is the lowest for Matchroom and Sky since Kell Brook fought Frankie Gavin in May 2015.
Brook v Gavin was a complete disaster after selling just 139,000.
A decline in fan interest of recent match-ups hasn’t deterred promoter Eddie Hearn from placing more shows on Box Office, though.
In fact, there’s set to be a spike from now until the end of the year.
October 26 sees the World Boxing Super Series team up with Matchroom for their super-lightweight final.
Josh Taylor battles Regis Prograis for the Muhammad Ali Trophy. Derek Chisora v Joseph Parker co-features.
Then, just one week later on November 2, Canelo Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev is currently being considered for PPV.
One problem faced by Matchroom and Hearn is that the YouTube scrap between KSI and Logan Paul is taking a slot on Box Office for November 9th.
The rematch of two YouTube channel presenters is set to be sold at £9.95 on the channel. This leaves a headache where Canelo v Kovalev is concerned.
Putting the Mexican’s bid to become four-weight world champion on Box Office would mean three Pay-Per-Views in a row for UK customers.
This is likely to lead to a rethink. Canelo v Kovalev could potentially be shown on regular Sky Sports.
SIX PPV’s in 2019
Deontay Wilder is expected to be back on Sky Sports on November 23 despite fighting on PPV in the United States. But a third UK PPV in just six weeks will take place on December 7th.
Anthony Joshua battles Andy Ruiz for a second time in Saudi Arabia. That’s a trio of Sky PPV’s prior to the Christmas period.
The total for 2019 would then be pushed to six. An average of one every two months.
Furthermore, and KSI v Paul 2 aside, Matchroom and Sky will be hoping for a big improvement for Taylor v Prograis and Joshua v Ruiz 2.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay