13 for 13: No. 6 UFC to launch digital network

December 27, 2013

Although not yet officially announced, the UFC will launch the “UFC Fight Pass” which will air January 4th starting with UFC Fight Night 34 from Singapore.  It’s the UFC’s first attempt at a subscriber-based network and serves two unique purposes.

The first is that it is an attempt to localize the UFC fights by enlisting local fighters to have on cards and starting the events at a convenient time for the region rather than catering to North American viewership. This should help with promotion and attendance of events.

The second is to monetize the events and delve into the use of a subscriber-based network.  At the reported price of $9.99 per month, it may not entice some casual viewers but may grab the attention of some dedicated UFC fans.

What may sway many UFC followers is what else the UFC will put on the network.  It is believed that the UFC library will be available to subscribers.  Also, there is the possibility a lot of the shoulder programming for UFC events will land on the Fight Pass.  This may include interviews, press conferences, weigh-ins and post-fight press-conferences.   It will also include The Ultimate Fighter series from other countries.

It’s an interesting launch that beats the WWE’s launch of its much-talked about network.  It does appear that the UFC Fight Pass will not provide 24/7 programming while the WWE may have more to offer including original content.

Will the UFC move strictly to a subscriber-based network in the future and completely leave PPV as it is rumored with the WWE’s network?  Hard to fathom.  While it would be enticing, it would lose a lot of the promotional strength it currently receives from distributors for its PPVs.  But, the digital option is a look into the future of where it can move some of its content.

The first live event on The Fight Pass (via Wikipedia)

The first live event on The Fight Pass (via Wikipedia)

3 Responses to “13 for 13: No. 6 UFC to launch digital network”

  1. JKT on December 27th, 2013 7:07 PM

    This is an incredibly low-key rollout for something set to launch a week from now.

  2. Tops of on December 28th, 2013 3:16 AM

    Yeah who are the headline fighters?hahaha…people would pay 9 dollars for this? The ufc just wants to claim its going to do 50 events….even if the fighters are unknowns…they’re doing what king of the cage is doing at the moment..they go to diff countries conduct rush tryouts..then stamp the kotc name on the event….

  3. Jason Cruz on December 28th, 2013 8:52 AM

    @JKT and @Tops

    You may call this a “soft” roll-out. UFC is set to announce today.

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