First Quarter Could Chalk Up $100 Mil In P-P-V

The first quarter of 1991 is expected to generate $100 million in pay-per-view revenues from various events, compared with a total of $135 million for last year’s 32 events. Three events from March to April alone are projected to produce $78 million.

The big three events are: Wrestlemania VII, March 7; the Mike Tyson-Razor Ruddock fight, March 18; and the Evander Holyfield-George Foreman fight, April 19.

The figures were cited by Bruce Karpas, prexy of Reiss Media Prods., at the Kagan DBS/p-p-v/home video seminar in Beverly Hills last week.

In January ’91 alone, three p-p-v events – a Tina Turner concert, a fight and a wrestling match – accounted for $12 million in revenues, according to an estimate made by Paul Kagan Associates.

This month, events include The Bikini Open 5 and “WrestleWar ’91” from Turner Home Entertainment.

In addition to the Tyson- Ruddock and Holyfield-Foreman fights, March and April will see a Truth Williams-Tim Witherspoon fight, “Thrill Mania” (an entertainment special) and “Women’s Wrestling Championship” from Global Network Entertainment and the “WCE Japan Super Show,” from Turner Home Entertainment.

Reiss Media’s Karpas questioned when the saturation point will be reached, especially when 95% of all of p-p-v event revenues come from boxing and wrestling. He suggested that more nonboxing/wrestling events need to be offered.

PPV vet Rick Kulis, prexy of Event Entertainment, however, maintained there isn’t a p-p-v business outside of those events.

Tom Neville, v.p., research and planning at Showtime Event Television, said growth in p-p-v events is directly related to the growth in addressable cable households. He also emphasized the importance of age in p-p-v ordering, noting that consumers in the 20 to 29 age bracket buy 62% more than the percentage of the overall audience makeup.

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