UFC and ESPN have formed a solid working relationship in just a matter of months, and it appears the two sides have reached an agreement that can change the landscape for future pay-per-view events.
With ESPN+ expanding its range this year, the chance to work alongside a growing company makes sense. However, not many could anticipate this latest announcement from UFC President Dana White.
Starting on April 13, ESPN+ will be the exclusive provider for UFC pay-per-view events in the United States through 2025. This means that fans will have to purchase memberships to the streaming service of the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
While the fights on the main card will be on ESPN+, preliminary matches will continue to air on television.
Obviously for ESPN this will turn itself into the sole source of watching UFC fights. As for White, he sounds ecstatic about this opportunity.
UFC Pay-Per-Views are now available for purchase exclusively through ESPN+ (US Only).
— UFC (@ufc) March 18, 2019
Unfortunately for viewers, they’ll have to spend money on the actual fight plus the subscription to the streaming service. Current ESPN+ members will have to spend $60 for each upcoming pay-per-view event.
In order to avoid creating friction between the UFC and its fan base, offering packages that lower the cost could become a possibility.
This deal begins next month with UFC 236.