By Paul Magno | September 29, 2023

On Tuesday, when it was announced that Devin Haney would meet Regis Prograis on a December 9 DAZN pay-per-view from San Francisco, familiar laments hit social media. 

“It’s not pay-per-view worthy!” 

“This is a Showtime/HBO-level fight, not a pay-per-view!”

“They’re charging us for everything even halfway decent now!”

“What happened to respecting us fans???”

“Pay-per-view on top of DAZN subscription? GTFOH!”


And I respond to the kvetching and to the prodding “let ‘em have it, Paul” pleas the same way I always do. I issue a stone cold, “This show is worth the pay-per-view price if you’re willing to pay it.”

That’s all I got. 

It’s your decision whether you want to pay the asking price or not. It’s not my call or anyone else’s call to determine value for a good or service. It doesn’t matter in the here and now what something USED TO cost. In the fast food world, it doesn’t matter a damn bit that a McDonald’s cheeseburger used to cost 37 cents in 1976. Ultimately, the consumers, in the big picture sense, will decide “worth” and when too much is too much. 

Pushing everything “good” to pay-per-view is a trend that is now taking root as the business model for the sport. So, it’s pretty obvious that the all-pay-per-view business model is not failing. At least, it’s not failing...yet. 

This year, boxing delivered a true blockbuster in Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia (1.2 million buys) and a big ticket hit in Terence Crawford-Errol Spence (about 700K buys). No other “real” boxing match even came close. But that doesn’t seem to matter. Devin Haney and David Benavidez, who generated low PPV numbers despite being in quality matchups (versus Vasiliy Lomachenko and Caleb Plant, respectively) will be back on pay-per-view by the end of the year against less marketable opposition (Regis Prograis and Demetrius Andrade). 

Everyone must be making enough money to keep this model going. Businesses-- even shit-for-brains boxing business entities-- aren’t in business to LOSE money. 

I’m too busy and too wildly disinterested to play amateur accountant for fighters and boxing companies. If they keep doing it, I’m assuming it works. And if it doesn’t work, let them fail. A good, cleansing rebuild would do us well. If you’re familiar with my work, then you know that I’m definitely not averse to a “burn down the village to save the village” dynamic.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the pay-per-view business model. I think it’s a quick cash-out at the expense of the sport’s long-term growth. Paywalls keep the casual-curious outsider from finding his/her way to fandom. But, in the here and now, passing the hat to the most loyal fans may be the only way to legitimately get some of these fights made. Maybe the suits are erring on the side of survival, opting to get shit done now and worry about the future later. If so, that’s truly some crisis mode shit. But, oh well, it’s not MY money. Boxing will go on. 

Whatever the case, something being “PPV Worthy” is entirely up to you. I know that griping is the mating call of the boxing fan, but it’s pointless trying to convince someone that what they might find worth the price is, actually NOT worth the price (or vice versa). 

The politically right-inclined love to use the term “virtue signaling” when it comes to people making pointless public declarations to showcase their (false) virtue. Boxing people of all political leanings, though, LOVE to virtue signal. And this “PPV worthy” stuff is just another track from the Boxing Fans Virtue Signal Greatest Hits LP.

Buy it. Don’t buy it. Who gives a flying fuck?

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