DirecTV will not offer UFC 234 PPV due to impasse in negotiations

February 7, 2019

MMA Junkie reports that DirecTV will not carry this Saturday’s UFC 234 PPV due to a breakdown in negotiations with the UFC.

According to the report, the UFC and DirecTV’s previous contract ended in 2018.  UFC 234 is the first PPV of 2019 and the two sides had been negotiating but have come to an impasse.

The UFC issued a statement on its web site which states that it continues to work to reach a resolution but provides fans with other options.

The Sports Business Journal reported that the UFC was receiving a 70/30 split of revenue from some distributors.  However, Dave Meltzer had refuted this assertion.  Regardless, it’s clear that the UFC, with its own digital platform in place, is willing to be more assertive with its PPV cut with distributors.

Payout Perspective:

The DirecTV impasse will present the UFC with a fallout from this Saturday’s PPV which appears to be one of the least appealing PPVs in some time.  Yet, the UFC is willing to take a one-time hit as UFC 235 is looking like a big event.  It will be interesting to see how the UFC negotiates with DirecTV as the company had 19.63M subscribers as of the end of the 3rd quarter of 2018.  Despite offering alternatives, foreclosing this audience to its product seems to be foolish.  Then again, the UFC is doing well on ESPN+ so we will see how negotiations go.  As an aside, don’t look for DirecTV to cave as it has been a prolonged stalemate with the Pac 12 Networks for years.

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