Dana White: FOX reason why Gustafsson is fighting on Fight Pass for Americans

March 10, 2014

Before the Ultimate Fight Night 37 London card, Dana White held one of his infamous pre-fight scrums where he tried to clear up some of the misconceptions regarding Fight Pass, including why Alexander Gustafsson ended up fighting on Fight Pass after a huge fight against Jon Jones on PPV last year.

Link: TheMMAReport, Abbey Subhan (YouTube)

Dana White addressing Fight Pass to the UK MMA media:

“First of all, the fight is being distributed to 350 million possible viewers [lists all countries available]. In the UK, the entire card will be on BT Sport and the main event for the first time ever here will be on Channel 5, open TV to everybody… The Americans have to pay for it on Fight Pass.  So the reason that this happened is, we added 10 more fights, we went to FOX and try to see if FOX would pick up these 10 more fights, and they didn’t.  So that’s why we put these on Fight Pass. They create their budgets at the beginning of the year and it wasn’t in their budget to pick up these fights. You know, not to say they don’t pick them up later, or whatever could happen with the deal, but that’s what happened. So, it’s either no one gets to see them or you put them on Fight Pass.  So, I hope that clears up some of the questions about Fight Pass… and anybody else and the rest of the world and countries I didn’t call, that I didn’t say a minute ago, they get it on Fight Pass too. Which of course all these people in other countries are pumped to pay for it on Fight Pass, whereas the Americans who are used to getting these fights for free, some of them are a little twisted, but whatever, what are you going to do.”


Payout Perspective:

These pre-fight scrums have historically produced some of the more interesting tidbits and have shed some light into what goes on behind the scenes of their business.  This was no different as Dana White specifically mentions that their mainstream television network partner, FOX, chose not to pickup these extra 10 UFC events, hence why UFN 37 and some more future fights will end up on Fight Pass instead of one of the FOX sport networks for American MMA fans.  That decision alone will cost avid UFC fans 10$ a month, or an extra $120 a year in addition to the already existing cost of UFC PPVs (13 PPVs in 2014).  If you add up the cost of Fight Pass and PPV events, the total cost of being an American MMA fan (not including your cable bill or attending live events) is around $900 dollars.  As a contrast, NFL, MLB, and NBA let their fans subscribe to season subscription packages that only cost around $200-250 dollars, which is only about 25% of the cost of an American MMA fan in 2014. In fact, just buying 4 UFC PPV events would exceed the entire season’s cost of all major sports.

The other part of White’s statement that sticks out is the difference in the relationship between UFC and FOX compared to UFC’s  previous relationship with Spike TV.  FOX picked up the UFC as a sports property to be aired on their sport networks.  Other sports have a fixed number of events that never change. You make a deal for a number of events and that’s what you air.  FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 have to balance all their sport properties, and lets face it, the more mainstream sports such as NASCAR, MLB, and even NCAA Basketball will get priority on FS1.  The UFC was able to add events on a whim in the past and Spike TV was more than happy to do it as they didn’t air any other sports or conflicting programming that would also give them good ratings.

This is not the case now that the UFC is on a sports network.  It’s also the reason why something that doesn’t have full promotional support, such as TUF Nations, is getting bounced around between FS1 and FS2 and has bottomed out at below 100,000 viewers.  The next season of TUF on Fox Sports 1 will be crucial for the UFC to see if they can regain the momentum picked up last season.  With the addition of Fight Pass, their current product is currently scattered between FOX, FS1, FS2, PPV, and Fight Pass (subscription), which has been argued as a necessity for UFC international expansion to be a success. But at the same time, it also leaves a portion of its American fan base, as Dana White put it, a bit “twisted”. UFC and FOX failed to come into an event agreement for 2014 that other networks around the world were able to make, and because of that, American fans are left to foot the bill.

8 Responses to “Dana White: FOX reason why Gustafsson is fighting on Fight Pass for Americans”

  1. saldathief on March 10th, 2014 5:42 AM

    The less Dana says the better it is for the UFC jeeze learn to shut up and take your Prozac Dana

  2. Sampson Simpson on March 10th, 2014 9:43 AM

    Dana is a joke

  3. payyourfighters on March 10th, 2014 12:12 PM

    I want to know why so many fighters are coming out saying that they are not getting paid and why the fuck Dana keeps saying they are? I think Dana and those other 2 dipshits are keeping all the cash just like any other capitalist business. The only guys getting paid are the guys at the top and this is pathetic.

  4. saldathief on March 11th, 2014 2:52 PM

    Yea those evil capitalists lol Not saying that the UFC is fair in paying fighters, but in reality most mma fighters would be working in car washes or washing dishes for 5 bucks an hour if it wasnt for the evil capitalist promoters

  5. AK on March 12th, 2014 4:28 PM

    Hey payourfighters and every other capitalism-is-the-root-of-all-evil ignorant effs: walk the walk and go move to France, Greece, Cuba and whatever else leftist utopia you seem to so admire and worship. Pathetic, hypocritical troglodytes…just like Jeff Monson always demonizing capitalism and corporations and then ALWAYS having corporate sponsors for fights.

  6. BrainSmasher on March 12th, 2014 8:09 PM

    Agree with AK. You people bitch about capitalism while you expect everyone else to take all the risk in life. I have a friend who has this lazy ass hippie mentality. Typical he doesn’t do shit to help anyone but himself as he bitches at others for being greedy. Someone has to build the infrastructure and create jobs and products and services. There has to be a reward. The lazy people who do not like capitalism sure aren’t going to do anything. You people are a useless disease. The system does what it was create for. To encourage progress, initiative, hard work, sacrifice, education, and creativity to keep society moving forward. Of course the low lives who possess non of these qualities who are dead weight to society get no rewards and hate the system. OF course you do. It wasn’t meant to reward useless people.

  7. saldathief on March 13th, 2014 7:08 AM

    BS I agree 100%

  8. tadleesgirl on March 15th, 2014 9:59 PM

    The reason all us dirty hippie types hate capitalism is because it affords people that don’t treat others like human beings a way to profit off those people. No one gives a shit about the fan base that created this sport, and the fact is that it is entertainment to anyone who isn’t fighting. It’s only a sport for the fighter. To anyone else it is either profit or entertainment. Seeing how we have to pay for every freaking second of this entertainment with subscriptions, more channels, etc I think that gives anyone a right to bitch. I mean, isn’t that what amurica is all about? How is everybody effecting my money?

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