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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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The Potential of a Pay-Per-View Super Bowl

  • The Super Bowl is the most-watched TV program of the year, averaging over 100 million viewers.
  • John Skipper recently said that he could see the NFL's title game as a pay-per-view event.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

Could the Super Bowl be a pay-per-view event one day? Former ESPN president and CEO of Meadowlark Media John Skipper told Dan Le Batard that it could happen.

“Super Bowl — take that to pay-per-view,” Skipper said. “That’s how they’re going to replace the money someday.”

The Super Bowl is the most-watched TV program of the year, averaging over 100 million viewers for CBS, NBC, or Fox.

“The numbers would be astronomical,” says pay-per-view expert Joe Hand Jr., president of Joe Hand Productions. The NFL declined to comment.

Hand believes a pay-per-view Super Bowl would easily shatter the record for highest-grossing PPV of all time. Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao currently holds that distinction, generating 4.6 million buys and $600 million in revenue in 2015.

  • The NFL could charge up to $200 per home, Hand estimated. 
  • In comparison, the price for Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor in 2017 was $99.95 for high definition, $89.95 for standard — the same pricing setup as Mayweather vs. Pacquiao two years prior.

The NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” package is the most popular PPV program for bars and restaurants. Approximately 20,000 businesses purchase Sunday Ticket each season — around 5,000 pony up for big boxing and UFC fights. 

The chances of a PPV Super Bowl are still slight. The NFL appears committed to showing its games on network TV. 

Then again, nobody thought the NFL would embrace sports betting, either.

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