UFC Increases PPV price for announced 2015 events

January 3, 2015

According to UFC.TV and multiple PPV providers such as DirecTV and Time Warner, the UFC will charge consumers an estimated $59.99 HD/$49.99 SD for all PPVs scheduled in 2015 so far, which include UFC 182: Jones vs Cormier, UFC 183: Silva vs Diaz and UFC 184: Weidman vs Belfort.

UFC_182_price_incr

 

Payout Perspective:

UFC President Dana White went on record (MMAFighting) years ago, stating that PPV prices would never be raised and would stay at their regular price of $54.95/$44.95 SD. That tune changed for UFC 168 in December of 2013, when the PPV price was raised to $59.95 HD/$49.95 SD. Dana White went on the record once again and stated that the PPV price hike was “just for UFC 168”, since it was justified by placing some of UFC’s biggest stars in highly anticipated match-ups (Weidman, Silva, Rousey, Tate).  White stated PPV prices would go back down to their regular price after UFC 168’s one-off price adjustment.

That brings us to 2015, which is just over a year after the UFC 168 PPV price hike experiment took place. To kick-off the new year, the UFC has scheduled it’s first three events of the year (UFC 182, UFC 183, and UFC 184) with an increased PPV price of  $59.99 HD/$49.99 SD ($64.95 HD/$54.95 SD for Verizon customers). Another one-off experiment cannot be the culprit this time around. So, what could have caused the PPV price hike this time around? Well, you don’t have to look any further than how mightily the UFC struggled in 2014 on the PPV front, which may seem a bit counter intuitive.

Last year’s down PPV business forced Standard & Poors to lower Zuffa’s outlook and threatened to lower their credit rating if things didn’t turn around by the end of Q1 2015.  Now having said that, it makes sense as to why Q1 2015 has been scheduled with some of UFC’s biggest stars and match-ups. As for the price hike, looking back at UFC 168, it did an estimated 1.025M PPV buys with the hiked PPV price, so it doesn’t appear to have been much of a deterrent. It’s pretty much a safe bet to say that the UFC’s takeaway from the UF 168 experiment was that their customers have no problem paying extra for a major event.  In 2015, it looks like they are taking that experiment a bit further by scheduling the first three events of the year with the price hike.

Essentially, the UFC is applying ad-hoc variable PPV pricing to their product, which is something the UFC has criticized and has tried to stay away from since their parent company, Zuffa, took over.  Fans have demanded variable PPV pricing for years as justification for not purchasing cards that were not as “stacked” as others yet cost the same amount. The UFC’s belief, however, has always been that consumers are buying the UFC experience via PPV, regardless of who is fighting on the card for the most part.  The UFC never wanted to admit in the past that some cards have less worth than others, which is a perception that has been shattered the past few years.  If the UFC wants to keep that perception that all PPV events have the same value, a uniform PPV price hike may be the next logical step in this experiment, but for a company who has struggled so much recently with their PPV business model, increasing the price on a product that many fans feel is over-saturated and watered-downed may prove to be quite the risky move.

20 Responses to “UFC Increases PPV price for announced 2015 events”

  1. Logical on January 3rd, 2015 1:46 PM

    Mind-boggling… looks like the UFC is hell-bent on destroying its PPV business, this is the worst move they could have done starting 2015. It would have been reasonable if they first tried to get consumer’s trust back on their PPV brand and THEN increased the prices, but to do it at this time just shows how out-of-touch and stupid they really are.

  2. Don on January 3rd, 2015 2:17 PM

    Raising ppv prices will only steer casual fans further alway

  3. Brandon on January 3rd, 2015 2:32 PM

    I have always been a huge MMA fan,the fights in the last couple years have been water downed to have more fights throughout the year, which to potentionally line the UFC POCKETS more, but unfortunately has destroyed the sport . GREED always catches up to you in the end. No business sense what so ever..I haven’t ordered a fight in years.. These ethics may work in the casino , but not with sober fans..,

  4. Eric Grisham on January 3rd, 2015 2:51 PM

    I have watched every UFC since Royce made Shamrock tap in the beginning. I am continually hearing fighter complaints about pay, and now the big guys want to make even more money??? Hard to believe that something that is becoming so over done as UFC pay per view could expect to make more money…. I am afraid my time is done … Outside of Rousey, Cerrone and Machida not a lot of must see fighters anymore… Lots of good ones, but few with the must watch factor .. I will no longer be 100% when it comes to viewing.. Thanks greedy thugs ….

  5. pearcey on January 3rd, 2015 3:10 PM

    going back at least 5 years now a price rise in ppv price would of been justified,
    you had one ppv card a month and that one card was stacked mile high with great fights and superstars all over it. now the ufc has a fight card on almost every second week, mostly with fighters from there home country on the fight card, im not against this but i do thing if ufc are going to book home town/country fighters on its cards they need to do it smart and only get the top fighters in that town/country and not stack the undercard full of no named local fighters that are pretty much brought in to the ufc just for that one show. i know it wont happen cause of there deals with fox and everything else they have going on but less shows, bigger cards and less fightewrs on there roster

  6. JF on January 3rd, 2015 3:38 PM

    I’m now very anxious to see tonight’s ppv numbers. The card was pushed by the UFC more than even their UFC 100 stadium show. If it doesn’t do the 750k Dana White predicted, things will look bleak.

  7. josh on January 3rd, 2015 4:06 PM

    Our ppv numbers are terrible, hey I know an idea, lets raise the prices! That’ll surely work right? So, so stupid. The ufc is gonna charge more money for good cards, but heaven forbid they charge less money for mediocre cards. I have never complained about the $55 tag for a card regardless of whos fighting because sometimes the no names put on the best fights, but this rrally irritates me. Way to pay back all of your fans who stuck with you through your worst year, 22014, by paying us back saying hey these next 3 cards are great, you wont mind paying more. I guess we cant expect Dan and Lorenzo to take a hit on their huge paycheck and make them miss 1 out of their 10 vacations this year.

  8. Jr on January 3rd, 2015 6:23 PM

    Dana is an idiot. I hope their numbers drop after this douche bag move and that the ufc loses that lawsuit… greedy bastard

  9. Nunya_B on January 3rd, 2015 9:57 PM

    Money Blind/Sick Corporate Morons!
    Ya want something completely & permanently ruined?, Just Add Capitalism!
    $25.00 Bucks is enough for any ticket, anywhere, for any show, of any kind.
    I love MMA but am beginning to hope they lose their @sses on their more money train.
    The Whole Point of Life Now just seems to be wallet rape or nothing.
    Literally everything is a complete arbitrary over charge.
    A month’s electric bill just for one 3 hour show? Are You Kidding Me?
    If someone really wants to make more money selling something, they MUST make it Affordable to everyone, not just the foolish or privileged!
    If something costs half as much and because of that 5 -10 times more people buy it… .. . Hmm… .. . Zero Logic in Today’s Corporate Craniums. Same Logic that Ruined NASCAR! I lived for Sunday Race Day but haven’t watched in years when it got commercialized into stupidity! UFC Will Be Next!

  10. d on January 3rd, 2015 11:05 PM

    Jose, one thing to point out, Verizon subscribers are paying $64.95/$59.95 hd/sd. It was $59.95/$54.95

  11. d on January 3rd, 2015 11:07 PM

    I misstated. Here are the correct numbers:

    *$64.95/$54.95* and *$59.95/$49.95*

  12. Jose Mendoza on January 4th, 2015 1:01 AM

    d: Updated, thanks.

  13. Saldathief on January 4th, 2015 10:11 AM

    They will lose another 15% of their already declining business. The hard core fan will still but it. It goes to show these guys are not only clueless but dont give a fuck.

  14. Dave Hrejsa on January 5th, 2015 6:11 AM

    I have been a fan since UFC 1, I have been to two live UFC events and purchased dozens pay per view events over the last 2 decades. I see many problems with the current UFC business model. What other main stream sport has pay per view events almost every 6 weeks on an annual basis? The UFC can’t expect fans to pay $500 plus per year to stay involved with the sport they love, especially when the pay per view events are not truly an event like they used to be.
    When the pay per view events were once per quarter, the cards were stacked, the fighters were prepared and we as fans knew we were going to get our money’s worth. We as fans had fighters we could get behind and cheer for and we knew it was going to be a battle – think Liddell and Couture in their MMA prime!
    Yes, the UFC has a relationship with FOX and I think this is moving in the right direction, but for those casual fans, or fans like myself that just can’t justify $55 every 6 weeks – the UFC loses our interest and then tries to regain it over and over throughout the course of the year. I think the UFC and Zuffa need to start thinking even more mainstream and less PPV. I understand that this generates revenue, but PPV will not grow the fan base and the fan base is what is going to give the UFC longevity.

    Respectfully,

    Dave Hrejsa
    A long time UFC fan

  15. Jose Mendoza on January 5th, 2015 6:16 AM

    Excellent reply Dave. BTW.. you are in luck. UFC 182 was on January 3. UFC 183 will be on January 31’st… you will get to buy two PPVs in the span of 4 weeks instead of 6 weeks!!!

  16. Ray on January 5th, 2015 1:00 PM

    price hike? what a joke!… i have never and will never pay for UFC or Boxing Pay per views. I will just continue to steal them off of the internet for FREE… for UFC 182 I went to a party and they were showing it there but before I left the house I went online and found well over a dozen high quality links showing the fights in HD. I dont care if this is stealing or whatver you want to call it. If im going to watch these fights I will not be paying. So if all the websites were to go away I still would not pay to watch. So they are not losing any money with me. these cards are dreadfull and to raise the price now is just a slap in the face of people who are being told these are high quality cards when in fact they are garbage.

  17. paul on January 5th, 2015 5:47 PM

    And they wonder why people download illegally!!!

  18. Stew on January 5th, 2015 7:12 PM

    When it comes to variable pricing, the UFC totally had their head up their ass. The solution is to REDUCE the cost of a mediocre card, and charge the standard rate for good ones. The UFC, in their wisdom, is raising the cost of the good ones, yet still over-charging for the mediocre ones. Now they can say “Look, see, we gave you what you asked for! If you don’t like it, clearly it’s because you’ll never be happy with any of our decisions.” Most UFC fans can do basic math, and we know when we’re getting jerked around. Incidentally, I’m one of the lucky Verizon customer that has to pay even more. Rather than drop $65 at my house, I spend it at Buffalo Wild Wings and watch the fights there. At least I get food and beer for my money.

  19. MMA Enthusiast on January 5th, 2015 7:12 PM

    SIMPLE!!!!!

    #PirateUFC

  20. UFC Announces Pay-Per-View Prices Going Up, Officially on January 29th, 2015 2:29 PM

    […] Back in 2009, UFC President Dana White (pictured above) insisted that the price of a PPV event would never increase, despite the higher price of some larger boxing events: “I’ll f—ing go on record and say I’ll never raise pay-per-view,” White told media. […]

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.