Understandable, since the event has overwhelmed cable systems, but even so, the staggering take from tonight’s Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is, well, staggering. Estimates are now holding that the event will bring in an amazing $400 million from PPV revenues.
With fight fans paying as much as $100 in the U.S. to watch the bout, #MayPac is looking to bring in what might be the biggest haul in pay per view history. More than 3 million individual PPV buys are being reported by HBO and Showtime, who are of course crowing that this haul is bigger than the GDP of 29 countries. In fact, if the fight goes the distance, Mayweather and Pacquiao will split more than $150,000 per second. That massive haul comes despite free streaming of the fight on Periscope and Meekat feeds tonight (the likes of which the cable networks hoped to prevent via a last minute injunction). That’s got to comfort HBO and Showtime, especially after it was reportedly delayed by as much as 45 minutes, thanks to overwhelmingly high demand.
Meanwhile, it should come as no shock that Hollywood was out in force. That the national anthem was sung by Jamie Foxx is almost a footnote in the sea of celebrities in attendance. Manny Pacquiao came out to the ring flanked by Jimmy Kimmel, dressed as a member of Run DMC (perhaps an attempt to best Mayweather, who is reported to be planning on bailing Suge Knight out of jail if he wins.)
Pacquiao’s team later tweeted this blurry pic, confirming Kimmel’s membership in his squad:
Naturally, it wouldn’t be a network event without network head honchos, and so it is that CBS boss Les Moonves is there, along with HBO head of programming Michael Lombardo. But celebs far outnumbered the suits. Of course, commentators joked about the number of HBO and Showtime talent on hand, including Game of Thrones‘ own Jamie Lannister, AKA Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, as well as members of the casts of Homeland, and Ray Donovan.
The fight was introduced by a video featuring The Fighter actor Mark Wahlberg and hip hip impresario P. Diddy. And speaking of boxing films, Southpaw star Jake Gyllenhall is there, appropriate since the Weinstein Company boxing film is being heavily promoted during the event, as was Robert De Niro. Beyonce and Jay-Z were there (no shock), as were a trio of Batmans, with Christian Bale, Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton in the house. Louis C.K. was there, as was his polar opposite, Justin Bieber. Michael J. Fox, Joshua Jackson, House of Lies‘ Don Cheadle, and more filled out their ranks.