North American Mixed Martial Arts fans probably noticed a little increase in the price of Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view events recently.
In the US, the cost of a PPV in standard definition broadcast went from $44.95 to $49.95, without much in the way of notice or discussion. The HD version went from $49.95 to $54.95.
The promotion has announced that that increase is here to stay.
In a statement released to MMA Junkie today, the UFC calls the change necessary to offset rising costs.
“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. 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.”
The UFC also offers a growing amount of programming on cable and network television. But pay-per-view revenue has long been a mainstay for the organization.
Back in 2009, UFC President Dana White (pictured above) insisted that the price of a PPV event would never increase, despite the higher price of some larger boxing events: “I’ll f—ing go on record and say I’ll never raise pay-per-view,” White told media.
Last year, the UFC endured a decline in average pay-per-view buys.