Prices for UFC pay-per-view fights on ESPN+ were raised on January 8th due to lost revenue from cancelled sporting events during the pandemic.
ESPN+ has been the exclusive home of the mixed martial arts fights in the US since its creation in April 2018. At that time, the standalone UFC PPV events cost $59.99. They were then increased again at the beginning of 2020 to $64.99. After the most recent increase, the events will be priced at $69.99.
The PPV package is also increasing from $84.98 to $89.98, increasing the savings from the package deal from 25% to over 30%.
The increased prices will be in place for UFC 257: Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor II on Fight Island.
ESPN+ is also increasing their yearly subscriptions for new subscribers from $49.99 to $59.99. Their monthly plan was increased from $4.99 to $5.99 this summer.
Disney/ESPN is citing the lost revenue from cancelled sporting events during the pandemic as the reason for increased pricing. However, Disney also announced at their investor conference that ESPN+ had doubled their subscribers to 11.5 million during 2020.
So, while ESPN was not airing as many live sports as usual, they were still able to generate more subscribers than ever.
One reason for this is Disney’s bundle package -- Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu. During lockdown, people were looking for any and every streaming service. So the increased interest might have allotted ESPN more subscribers than normal. The bundle deal is currently still at $12.99 per month, but will increase to $13.99 on March 26, 2021. Max Holloway kicks off UFC’s 2021 schedule with career performance, smashes multiple records
Disney has cornered the market with a wide variety of streamable and original content, and now that they have us hooked, they can drain our wallets.