UFC pay per view (PPV) provider ESPN has increased the amount of buying price by a margin of $5 USD. At the beginning of 2020, each UFC PPV had a price tag of $64.99 USD. However, at beginning of the ESPN deal, PPVs were priced at $59.99 USD. But the start of 2021 saw it being raised to $69.99 USD. In the span of 3 years PPV prices have gone up by $15.00 USD. It will now cost $74.99 and it will be implemented from UFC 270 on January 22.
Not only the PPV prices, the ESPN+ package deal which included an entire year of subscription to the streaming service and one PPV, is also $10 USD costlier. Earlier priced at $89.98 USD, it will now cost the customers a sum of $99.98 USD.
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The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) had its best year financially in 2021. The success of the promotion led was so massive that the revenue for the past year pushed past $900 million USD and it might touch a rare figure of $1 billion. The PPV increased price will certainly result in a larger profit for 2022.
Will increased prices affect PPV sales?
UFC inked a deal with the Disney owned sports Network initially to air their fight night cards on its OTT platform ESPN+ to air the Fight Night cards. At the time, the PPVs were not a part of the agreement. However, after the tremendous success of the launch, both parties agreed to bring in the PPVs under the same umbrella.
Dana White tells Jim Rome they will be break the PPV buy record this year. He says it will be 8.4M or 8.5M buys— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) December 2, 2021
After the commencement of the deal, UFC has enjoyed massive success both in terms of exposure and the number of PPV sales. Since 2019, the endeavour has been very profitable for both ESPN and the UFC. Dana White recently revealed that approximate 8.6 million PPVs were sold in 2021. He also expressed his delight to be in business with ESPN.
He stated, “I think the cable is gonna go away. Direct TV will still be around but streaming. You know these guys the big players here in the United States, it’s all gonna change in next several years…. For us, for me personally, I’m happy with ESPN. I wanna stay where I’m at and we (might) end up with these guys for another 10 years,”
ESPN-UFC partnership has produced 4 PPVs that had a buy rate of over a million. At the start of 2020, UFC 246 had a reported buy rate of 1.1 million. Later in the year, Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman had his first title defence against Jorge Masvidal on UFC 251 and it sold a reported 1.3 million as well. In 2021, both fights between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier sold over a million. 1.5 million and 1.8 million PPV buys for UFC 257 and UFC 264 respectively.