Sports

The UFC Finally Ditches Pay-Per-View Business Model… Sort Of

The days of turning to your cable provider for a UFC pay-per-view are done, replaced by a partnership with ESPN and some funky streaming service.

Ever since Zuffa took over the UFC from Semaphore Entertainment Group, the fight organization’s chief source of revenue was the money made from their pay-per-view events. Well, that’s all changed now, courtesy of their deal with ESPN, and the streaming platform ESPN+.

Folks, you’re going to need to subscribe to ESPN+ if you want to see a UFC pay-per-view event again.

Here’s MMAFighting with the logistics:

Beginning next month with UFC 236, all UFC PPV cards will only be available for purchase on the ESPN+ digital streaming service in the United States. Fans must subscribe to ESPN+ in order to buy pay-per-view cards, which will be slightly discounted from the norm. In addition, the UFC and ESPN extended their multi-billion dollar pact for two more years, until 2025.

…UFC pay-per-view events will only be available for purchase on ESPN+ — and only after subscribing to the digital streaming service. That means you’ll no longer be able to flip to a channel on your television and purchase UFC PPV cards there. The only way you’ll be able to watch is on ESPN+, via the service’s browser view or its various applications.

That the UFC would be willing to do this speaks volumes on where the sport has evolved to from a financial standpoint. There was no way this was ever going to happen when the UFC partnered with FOX.

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