Wrestlers pin PPV

Grappler group takes quarterly crown in buys

The World Wrestling Federation placed a hammer lock on pay-per-view revenues in the second quarter, generating 65% of the total income for events on PPV.

The seven WWF events that ran in the quarter took down $83.5 million, more than doubling the $40.2 million in revenue harvested by four boxing matches.

PPV took in a total dollar figure of $126.65 million for all events in the quarter, 4% below the $131.6 million pulled in for the same period last year.

But SET Pay Per View, which compiles the data every quarter, said the 2001 revenues represented a considerable improvement over those of the second quarter of 1999 ($60.6 million) and 1998 ($41.5 million).

The four biggest-grossing PPV events in the quarter were all from the WWF (in descending order): “Wrestlemania X-Seven” on April 1; “King of the Ring,” June 24; “Backlash,” April 29; “Judgment Day,” May 20.

The WWF is expecting even fatter revenues in the third and fourth quarters because it’s keeping alive the World Championship Wrestling operation, which it bought from Turner Broadcasting earlier this year. For the first time, the WWF will be able to stage PPV showdowns with wrestlers from the WCW.

The best-performing boxing event was a middleweight bout between Felix Trinidad and William Joppy, which picked up about 350,000 buys.

As usual, concerts lagged way behind. The four second-quarter concerts couldn’t even muster $1 million, settling for a total of $889,376. A Destiny’s Child performance did the best, with about 35,000 buys.

Pay-per-view is available to 47.5 million subscribers in the U.S.

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