Showtime and HBO team up for Mayweather-Pacquiao fight

US cable television broadcasters HBO and Showtime have come together to agree a joint pay-per-view rights deal for the highly anticipated boxing bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.

Following more than five years of speculation and talks over the fight, it was announced on Friday that Mayweather and Pacquiao will come together to unify the WBC, WBA and WBO welterweight world titles at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 2.

Showtime has Mayweather under contract, while HBO has a deal with Pacquiao and television rights have been one of the main sticking points preventing the fight from happening until now.

Showtime and HBO will jointly produce and distribute the bout and while pay-per-view rates have yet to be confirmed, ESPN.com said the fight is expected to cost a record-high $89.95 (€79), with high-definition an additional $10.

The fight is expected to break every revenue record in boxing history, including the PPV buy record of 2.4 million generated by Mayweather’s 2007 light-middleweight championship fight against Oscar De La Hoya and the all-time PPV revenue record of $150m, also set by Mayweather in his 2013 light-middleweight championship fight against Canelo Alvarez.

The all-time ticketing revenue of $20,003,150 is also expected to be shattered, with estimates stating the fight could generate around $400m in total. Mayweather is set to receive the greater share of money through a 60-40 split in his favour.

The agreement between HBO and Showtime represents only the second time the two broadcasters have brokered such a deal. The first was for the 2002 fight between then-heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, who was with HBO, and former champion Mike Tyson, who was with Showtime.

Bob Arum, founder and chief executive of promoter Top Rank, which represents Pacquiao, believes the anticipation surrounding the fight will allow it to set revenue records and seal its place as one of the biggest bouts in boxing history.

“I think in some strange way the inability to get the fight done before now enhances its value and this is one event that the public all over the world has been talking about and discussing for years,” he told ESPN.com. “The interest in the fight will be absolutely red-hot. I've been promoting boxing for nearly 50 years and there is nothing that has come close to this because there has been nothing that has been so difficult to come to fruition. As interest is concerned, this is akin to the first (Muhammad) Ali-(Joe) Frazier fight.”