LAS VEGAS — UFC president Dana White isn’t thrilled that fight fans are being asked to pay more money to watch his promotion’s biggest events.
Beginning with Saturday’s UFC 270 card, UFC pay-per-view events in the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries that require purchase for numbered shows are expected to increase in price. The fee for fans in the United States will drop from $69.99 to $74.99, and last week’s announcement was largely met with a frustrated reaction.
Although critics sued White and the UFC for trying to extract more money from fans, the decision, according to White, was made by broadcast partner and pay-per-view carrier ESPN. The company raised prices by $5 about a year ago, and White admitted he doesn’t want that to happen again.
“We have nothing to say on that,” White told MMA Junkie after Saturday’s UFC fight on ESPN 32 in Las Vegas. “We gave the pay-per-views to ESPN, so yeah, that’s their decision. You know how I feel about that stuff. I don’t like it when the prices go up, but it doesn’t. It’s not my decision. It’s theirs.”
Video: Is there a negative impact on fan interest with the UFC’s rising pay-per-view costs?
ESPN raises UFC pay-per-view price for third time
Shortly after the UFC signed its broadcast deal with ESPN to begin in January 2019, a change was made from a la carte hosting on traditional satellite and cable operators to putting them exclusively behind a wall. paying on ESPN+.
According to White, this change placed the power in the hands of ESPN chiefs, and the callers have since chosen to raise prices on several occasions.