This past Saturday the UFC’s new digital network “UFC Fight Pass” broadcast its first live event and the results were pretty darn impressive. Outside of monthly live events, the network promises to provide a wealth of content including UFC, Strikeforce, WEC, Pride, WFA, and Affliction fights. While the network is still in its infancy it is still subject to be under review. Read below as we breakdown every angle of UFC Fight Pass.
Video Quality: The one thing that matters most when watching a fight is how good the video looks. UFC Fight Pass excelled in this area providing great video quality. While watching UFC Singapore the video streamed in at a crisp 720p without any hiccups. It was a sigh of relief for someone who has a “so-so” internet connection. The archived fights stream in at high quality just as well. The UFC can improve their video quality by adding a 1080p option for fans who have high-speed internet and the ability to hook their computers up to an HDTV. Overall I’d give UFC Fight Pass an A- for video quality. If they had 1080p they would have received an A+.
Audio Quality: The audio quality of UFC Fight Pass is just as good as the video quality. Whether a fan is watching a live event or a random fight from 2005 the UFC provides quality audio for all to enjoy. I have no major gripes about the audio quality and award UFC Fight Pass an A.
Ease of Navigation: UFC Fight Pass is not very easy to navigate. A great example of this would be trying to find the fights from UFC Singapore. You’ll probably click through a few hype videos before finding the actual event. Once you find the actual event you’ll have to fast forward and rewind to find the certain moment you want to watch. I’m assuming that the UFC just simply has not had time to add “markers” to the event to make it easier to find certain moments on the card but it would go a long way in improving the service. If the UFC wants Fight Pass to flourish it has to make the site easier to navigate. I would give UFC Fight Pass’ ease of navigation a C.
Content: If foreign fight cards at god awful hours of the day are not for you then its on-demand fight library is probably all you’re interested in. As of right now the UFC is slacking on what it promised in regards to the fight library. One of the hardest things to do is to find a certain Pride fight. If you want to watch Alistair Overeem vs Shogun Rua you’re going to have to find it on an episode of “Best of Pride.” Want to watch some fights from Strikeforce? You’re out of luck until the UFC decides to put them up. The selection of fights from the UFC is great but why don’t they put up the entire library? Want to watch Matt Mitrione layout Christian Morecraft or duke it out with Joey Beltran? Not going to happen on UFC Fight Pass. Where UFC Fight Pass’ content seems to becomes worth 9.99 is by having every episode of the Ultimate Fighter uploaded. Unfortunately if you want to watch the most recent season of TUF you’re going to have to pay extra. The UFC has a solid foundation for its content but simply needs more. Half way decent fight cards on at horrible hours and a selection of fights is simply not worth it. I’d give UFC Fight Pass’ content a C-.
Verdict: UFC Fight Pass showed a lot of promise during its first week of operation but has plenty of room to grow. If the UFC can keep all of the promises it made then the service will be well worth your $9.99. In its current incarnation I cannot recommend paying 120 dollars a year for it. Try out the free trial and see if the current version of UFC Fight Pass is right for you.