Orders for fight could overflow TV systems

April 17, 1991|By New York Times

NEW YORK -- Advance orders for Friday's pay-per-view presentation of the George Foreman-Evander Holyfield heavyweight championship fight are so brisk that officials at TVKO, the pay-per-view arm of Time Warner Sports, are worried that cable systems will not have enough phone lines and personnel to handle the flood of last-minute buyers.

"We hope to get 1 million orders in the final 48 hours," said Mark Taffet, TVKO's senior vice president of programming operations.

Foreman's quest to retake the crown at age 42 and Time Warner's massive marketing campaign have put TVKO's debut pay-per-view event in a position to overtake boxing's previous top-grossing pay-per-view event, the Holyfield-Buster Douglas fight. That fight drew 1.1 million viewers, paying $38.6 million.

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