Pay-per-view (often abbreviated PPV) is a way that people can pay to watch events on television in their homes. The event is shown at the same time to everyone ordering it. This is different than video on demand systems which lets people see the event at any time. Common events include movies and sporting events.
The first major pay-per-view event was on September 16, 1981. This event was Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas "Hitman" Hearns boxing for the Welterweight Championship. Viacom Cablevision in Nashville, Tennessee, was the first system to offer the event. Over fifty percent of its customers paid to see the fight.
In 1985, the first U.S. cable channels to show only pay-per-view, Viewers Choice, Cable Video Store, and Request TV began operation within days of each other. Viewers Choice was available to both home satellite dish and cable customers. Request TV was available to only cable viewers at first. Dish owners could not use it until the 1990s.
The term "pay-per-view" became more well known in the 1990s when companies like iN DEMAND, HBO, and Showtime started using it to show movies and other things. In Demand would show movies, concerts, and other events at prices between $3.99 to $49.99. HBO and Showtime would offer championship boxing, with prices between $14.99 to $54.99.
Pay-per-view is also a very important way for professional wrestling companies like World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) , Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) , Ring of Honor (ROH) and Asistencia Asesoría y Administración to earn money.
Pay-per-view Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.