‘Day of Reckoning’ First PPV in Russia?


Vadim Finkelchtein said he personally extended an invitation to UFC President Dana White this week for Saturday’s co-promoted Affliction and M-1 Global “Day of Reckoning” at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

M-1 Global’s CEO is still waiting for a reply, but it seems he needn’t worry about sitting by himself in the audience. As of Friday, multiple sources said the promotion had sold close to 11,000 tickets –- 1,200 of them on Thursday alone. If true, Affliction’s second effort is on par with its July 19 predecessor, which raked in a $2,085,510 gate from the 11,242 tickets it sold.

Few shows are able to crack the 10,000-tickets-sold threshold in North America, and though Affliction’s absorbent fighter purses will certainly gobble this profit up, the ability to draw crowds like this on a regular basis could indicate some staying power in the industry.

Even if the numbers don’t quite live up to July’s heyday, Saturday’s undertaking could lay claim to milestone halfway around the world. “Day of Reckoning” is said to be one of the first, if not the first-ever pay-per-view in Russian history, according to Finkelchtein.

On the strength of comrade Fedor Emelianenko, “Day of Reckoning” will be available through NTV Plus at a going rate of around $40 to homes that are compatible with the satellite service. Though the initial airing is at 5 a.m. Moscow time, the one-time fee will allow viewers to watch the event as many times as they like for a 24-hour period.

“One year ago, there was no system for this in place, but now it is possible,” said Finkelchtein who also manages the 31-year-old Emelianenko.

The Russian Information Agency (RIA), an Associated Press equivalent, could not verify the auspicious statistic because of the sheer number of splinter cable and satellite networks available in the country, though it did concede, at the very least, that the NTV pay-per-view event is a monumental development in Russia.

Sherdog.com could not confirm just how many of Russia’s 141 million citizens will be able to access the service, though the program will also be available in neighboring countries like the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Holland, and Monaco.

Affliction, M-1 Global, Golden Boy Promotions, and the Trump Organization’s last-minute drive to game day has been highlighted by a feature on the soft-spoken Emelianenko in The New York Times, his appearance ringing NASDAQ’s opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, dual press conferences helmed by Oscar De La Hoya on both coasts, and a plug from Donald Trump Jr. on Larry King Live. Online documentary-style episodes from Andrei Arlovski and Emelianenko, Showtime-produced vignettes, and other marketing segments have also flooded the Internet and garnered a few million hits combined.

On Saturday, 225 media personnel from more than 100 print, radio, television and Internet outlets will attend the event, with another 75 persons turned away. Among the usual U.S., Japanese, and Hispanic outlets, Russia will get its results through the RIA and ITAR-TASS, another leading news service.

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