ESPN + subs up to 2M thanks in part to UFC

February 6, 2019

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced on Tuesday that ESPN+ has doubled its paid subscriptions from 5 months ago.  This is due in large part to the UFC debuting on the digital platform.

ESPN+ launched in April 2018 for $4.99 per month.  The UFC debuted this past January with its first live event to rousing success.  ESPN indicated that more than 525,000 subscribers signed on for the digital network as a result of the UFC debut.  Also an indicator of success, the UFC’s debut live telecast of the UFC on ESPN + 1 Fight Night prelims drew nearly 2 million viewers.

ESPN acquired the rights for the UFC for $1.5 billion last spring after the promotion was on Fox for the last 7 years.

Payout Perspective:

While its unlikely that you can draw a direct line between the UFC’s debut on ESPN+ and the network’s spike in subscriptions, its hard not to make the inference.  While Top Rank Boxing has been a part of ESPN+ since the start, the UFC boosts the platform and it also provides it with a younger demo that is used to mobile and digital content.  For the UFC, the benchmark by Disney validates its worth as a company and asset for any media company.  The digital platform’s success is based on the acquisition of valuable content which includes the UFC, Top Rank Boxing, original content and the licensing of NHL and MLS games.

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.