ATLANTIC CITY,N.J. — ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Co-promoters Bob Arum and Dan Duva were predicting record pay-per-view income from last night's fight based on early sales at $40 a household. Income from the venture could climb past $50 million.
The fight last night was the first boxing venture produced by the new TVKO network, a subsidiary of the Time-Warner conglomerate.
Ross Levinsohn, TVKO's director of marketing, said: "We're running 10 to 25 percent ahead of any other fight ever shown on pay-per-view. "We have 18 million addressable homes, and . . . would set a record" if 1.3 million bought the service.
Duva and Arum were even more optimistic. Duva estimated 1.7 million homes, and Arum said the number could exceed 2 million.
The Holyfield-James "Buster" Douglas match in Las Vegas in October was seen in 1.1 million homes. About 800,000 homes watched the Mike Tyson-Donovan "Razor" Ruddock bout last month.
The availability of pay-per-view, however, hurt the sale of tickets at the gate, where ringside seats were priced at $1,000. Arum was hoping for a crowd of 16,000 but needed a late box-office surge to reach that goal.
Holyfield was guaranteed $20 million, Foreman $12.5 million, but both could earn appreciably more if the pay-per-view income is as high as expected.