I’m sure Dana, Brock, and Randy are all crossing their fingers and hoping the UFC’s mad scientists were right about this whole 1.2 million PPV buys thing. But it’s worth noting that the dudes projecting numbers for boxing have been off by around 50% recently:
According to Dave Meltzer, Bernard Hopkins vs. Kelly Pavlik did 195,000 buys, while Roy Jones Jr. vs. Joe Calzaghe did 225,000 buys. Some at HBO expected the latter to do half a million based on the great 24/7 preview series.
The WWE’s Jim Ross, no stranger to PPV estimates and whatnot, is also saying that 1.2 million seems pretty retardedly optimistic:
UFC officials are predicting north of 1M PPV buys but I don’t see it. The American economy is deplorable, the event isn’t sold out, and with PPV buys being discretionary purchases I would suggest that if UFC 91 gets 500,000-750,000 buys it should be considered a major success. Any one who argues that the economy won’t affect the number of buys is fooling one’s self.
I hate to keep bringing up Dana’s “friends, beer, pizza” line as to why the economy won’t be affecting the UFC’s pay per view numbers. But while Dana’s argument holds water to a degree, it also explains exactly why numbers will go down. Figure this: whereas before you’ll have four or five friends coming over, now you’re gonna see people tightening their belts and really piling over to their friends’ places. If most people had 4-5 friends watching the PPV before and now they have 9-10, that’s the UFC’s buyrate cut in half right there.