Dana White was on the Wall Street Journal’s podcast and talked about the possibility of moving towards a streaming service for the UFC once the Fox deal ends in early 2018. The UFC already has UFC Fight Pass but is looking towards expanding it with their own platform. In the podcast, Dana went on to say, “With technology, we’re getting to the point that I always dreamed about. I always sued to say, we’ll take this thing all around the world, build a fanbase, build up some talent in every country around the world, and then we’ll get to a point in time where everyone can watch it at the same time, on the same platform. We’re getting to that day. [on our own platform], on a type of Over-The-Top platform.” By the sounds of what Dana is saying it seems like the UFC is considering doing something similar to what the WWE currently does with the WWE Network. The WWE has gone completely to an online streaming network with on-demand options as well through the network. As of April 2017, the WWE Network currently has 1.66 million paid subscribers to the network.
What does this mean for the UFC and its fans? For the fans, this would be amazing. With signing up for the subscription-based network, pay per views would be included in the fee. This is something that would allow the fans to view all events as it would be like a Netflix subscription payment plan. Expecting fans to pay 60 dollars a month sometimes even twice a month for two Saturday night cards just seems unrealistic. Last week, I wrote about possible solutions to fix the recently low pay per view numbers that you can view here.
In the interview with the Wall Street Journal White eluded to how the technology of today is so different than it has been in the past. He mentions how the evolution of technology and the way consumers consume entertainment is not through your typical “Channel 3” or “Channel 5″. The UFC President went on to say, ” Now what’s crazy about television these days — I have DirectTV and I have cable, so I have 2,000 channels right? And nothing’s on. Nothing’s on. I think we have the type of content that people will watch.” White also mentioned his kids saying how they do not watch television and everything they do is on their phone. This is the evolution of technology where everyone has access to everything right at their fingertips.
If you want to check out the whole interview below is the interview with the Wall Street Journal.