The UFC has announced a $5 increase in pay-per-view prices to offset the rising cost in live event production. In a statement provided to MMA Junkie, the UFC stated:
“In an effort to provide UFC fans with the best possible matchups and highest quality programming, we have maintained the same suggested retail price for our U.S. pay-per-view events since February 2008 (UFC 81), with one exception – UFC 168 in 2013,” the statement reads. “As with most industries, our costs have gone up significantly over this period and we have determined it is necessary to institute a minimal cost increase beginning in 2015.”
“UFC considers its pay-per-view events to be a tremendous value for the consumer and it continues to make that value proposition better every year through features such as advanced analytics, real-time interviews and breaking news.”
UFC pay-per-view costs were previously $44.99 for standard definition broadcast and $54.99 for high definition resolution. Now, the price for a UFC pay-per-view is set at $49.99 and $59.99 for HD. The price increase was instated at UFC 182 on January 3rd when Jon Jones fought Daniel Cormier. The price increase likely comes as a recovery measure from the multiple numbered UFC events of 2014 marred by injury and last minute opponent changes. From Renan Barao to Cain Velasquez, 2014’s last minute card changes due to injury and weight cutting undermined sales.
“(Last year) was a weird year because all the big headliners fell out,” White said. “Everybody thinks the pay-per-view thing is dead. It’s not dead. We just had a bad year.”
While the UFC pay-per-view numbers for 2014 were nowhere near ideal, UFC on Fox 14 drew an excellent 2.82 million viewers. Fight Night Boston averaged 2,751,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1 and peaked at 3,162,000 viewers during McGregor vs. Siver. Track more about the business of MMA and combat sports at mmapayout.com.