Report indicates Fight Pass “not going anywhere”

April 10, 2019

The Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand’s latest In Box email update reports that despite the success of the UFC’s partnership with ESPN, UFC Fight Pass is staying put.  He reports that it has “around 400,000 global subscribers” and will have some changes.

Ourand reports that the hiring of Crowly Sullivan as Vice President and General Manager of the day-to-day operation for the OTT platform means that there will be original content in addition to the expanded library and coverage of regional promotional events.  Sullivan, who owns a Sports Emmy, will likely be working on studio shows and documentaries according to Ourand.  The hire represents the commitment that the UFC has to its own digital platform despite partnering with ESPN +.

Sullivan, who worked for Mark Shapiro while at ESPN will work on attracting and retaining fight fans.

Payout Perspective:

The demise of UFC Fight Pass seemed inevitable if you believed that the UFC would have aired its PPVs on its own digital platform.  But, the UFC announced new additions to Fight Pass and Ourand’s news seems to suggest that the promotion is making an effort to keep its digital platform profitable.  It would seem that it would be in competition with DAZN for OTT combat sports fans and it will need to be creative in bolstering subscriptions while keeping its current subscribers happy.

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