Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pay Per View Boxing Costs Too High?

I finally got to watch the Pavlik-Taylor fight on HBO’s replay last night. It may be boxing heresy that I didn’t buy the fight for $49.95 on the day it occurred but I can no longer support all those PPV fights with that kind of a price tag. Don’t jump on me with sententious assertions that the fighters deserve to make money. Of course, they do. Anyone who participates in the penultimate grueling sport knows that careers are short-lived, the chances of getting seriously hurt are significant, and that boxers run the risk of ending their boxing careers with little to show for it except scars and occasional smiles of recognition from people with short memories.

My point is that PPV fees are often too high. I’m not sure how it is for other people, but I’ve bought into quite a few PPV boxing events in the $20 to $25 range. I’ve also bought into quite a few for $49.95, and very often that’s been something I regret when the DirectTV bill comes. The pricing policies set by HBO execs have the effect of narrowing the audience. Paying $50 for a televised boxing event is a counterproductive pricing policy at a time when boxing needs to expand its audience.

Boxing is a business but it’s often a badly run business. The boxing business would do well to emulate the competitive pricing policies of mainstream businesses with pricing strategies designed to expand market share and the customer base. My hit on it is that HBO, SHOWTIME boxing, and other television boxing promoters would increase market share, customer base, and television profits by lowering prices. I don’t know if there are any studies to support this but I haven’t seen any proof that $50.00 PPV price tags help the boxers, the television boxing business, the customer, or the bottom line. By putting prices out of reach of the common man, the television boxing promoters are putting the fighters themselves out of the running for the adulation of the common fan.

4 comments:

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