With reports of the recent pay per view numbers hitting an all-time low at the past UFC events it raises the questions, why are they so low and what is the solution? Now I believe there were many external factors into why the pay per view numbers were so low this past weekend that the UFC had no control over. What happened in Las Vegas just six days prior to UFC 216 is a horrible tragedy and to have to follow that horrific tragedy and put on a booming pay per view show is going to be hard to do. With all that being said, there are reasons to the low pay per view numbers as of late and solutions for these problems.
As to why the numbers are so low, I think this time period is a hard time period to compete for pay per view buys. The massive event Mayweather vs. McGregor was at the end of August and Canelo vs GGG was in September. Both of these events (UFC 215 & UFC 216) that hit a record low for back to back pay per views in the UFC since UFC 42 and UFC 43 were both near these massive events. Mayweather vs McGregor did over four million pay per view buys at 100 dollars so it is hard to expect consumers to buy four pay per views in the span of six weeks.
Another reason for the numbers on these pay per view cards being so low is because there are so many UFC cards and pay per view cards for that matter. Right now the UFC runs over 50 events in the span of a year. With an over saturation of events it is natural for some events to not do as well as others. In addition, with all of these events the UFC can only pick and choose which events to spend lots of marketing dollars for, and I feel that for these last two cards the UFC were not all in on the way they have marketed these events due to them expecting to not draw well. So far, this year, the worst the company has had in a while, have had many reasons to the low pay per view numbers on UFC cards, but there are some solutions to fix the problems.
One solution would be to limit the number pay per view events the UFC does each year. I think if the UFC did five or six pay per views rather than having 13 pay per views a year it would be beneficial. With doing this, the UFC could stack each pay per view card more to entice consumers to buy each one. Also, with spacing out the pay per views fans would be more willing to spend the $59.99 or $69.99 every two months with better fights on each card in comparison to having cards as often as they do now, having the cards be weaker and expecting people to spend the money once or more than once a month.
With all of the illegal streaming that happens for pay per view events, it is very hard to do amazing numbers for pay per views. I think that once the TV deal is up that the UFC will begin to move towards less pay per view events and more towards online streaming, fight night like events on various networks, and by a result, the viewer would be getting a better bang for their buck. With the way that some of the current pay per views are, the UFC is having a hard time justifying why people should buy them.