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If you’re a sports fan, you know what the words Mayweather vs. McGregor references. Heck, it’s being called the Fight of the Century by some, but odds are that if you’re on a cruise, you won’t be able to watch this weekend’s fight between boxer Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial artist Connor McGregor in one of the ship’s public venues. And while that’s not what some sports fans want to hear, the fact of the matter is that the cost of airing the event would prove prohibitive.
“All of America will be watching!”
The hot-button topic made its way to the Facebook page of Carnival Cruise Line’s senior cruise director and brand ambassador John Heald, who responded to a question from a poster named Max. “This is the most anticipated sports event of the year,” wrote Max. “All of America will be watching and John Heald, you are showing how cheap you are by [not] showing it. If you put this on the big screen, [every passenger would be watching]. You would cover the charge of buying the pay-per-view [event] in revenue hundreds of times over. There will be some angry passengers for sure, me included!”
It would seem that Max, like many people is operating under the faulty assumption that public venues — be they cruise ship bars or the pub down the block — can simply pay the same relatively low fee as one would to access the fight at home. This is not, however true. “The rights for us to show this pay-per-view event would be astronomical,” replied Heald on his Facebook page, “and while I’m sure it will be a very popular event, we would much rather invest the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would cost in other areas and upgrades to the ship.”
If the idea of Carnival having to pony up hundreds of thousands of dollars for the event seems hard to believe, think again.
Why It Would Cost So Much
As reported by Yahoo news, public venues wanting to air pay-per-view events must pay a licensing fee that is far higher than the $99.95 folks will pony up to watch the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight in their living room. Just how much each venue pays depends on the number of people who’ll be watching. The story reports that Joe Hand Promotions, the promoter handling this particular fight, is charging businesses $30 per viewer, with the amount charged based on the capacity of the space. “The base plan,” reports Yahoo, “assumes a 70-person capacity space, which could go for $2,100. The maximum that a business will have to pay is $9,000, which assumes 300 people are watching. Most establishments fall somewhere in between, catering to around 150 individuals, which would cost $4,500.”
Keep in mind that this is a per-venue fee, meaning that each bar showing the fight on each of a cruise line’s individual ships would have to pay a licensing fee. Add all those bars on all those ships up, and it’s easy to see where Heald comes up with the “hundreds of thousands of dollars” referenced.
How You Can Still Watch Mayweather vs. McGregor At Sea
Of course, individual passengers who’ve purchased the internet package can pay the regular pay-per-view fee to access the fight, maybe even hosting their own flight-club parties in their staterooms. Then again, given how spotty internet service can sometimes be on board ships, it might be a good idea to have a back-up plan, entertainment wise!