It came out earlier this week that YouTube would begin offering paid subscriptions to some of their channels. The world's largest Web video site had previously featured all of the uploaded content for free. However, starting Thursday afternoon, a small group of producers will be charging a subscription fee for exclusive content to their subscribers. Most notable for MMA fans is, of course, the UFC.
The New York Times broke the news on Wednesday:
The first paid video channels appeared on the sprawling video Web site, a unit of Google, Thursday afternoon, with subscription rates ranging from 99 cents to $7.99 a month. The early participants include Sesame Workshop, the producer of "Sesame Street," which streams full episodes of the children’s show to paying subscribers; Ultimate Fighting Championship, the mixed martial arts league, which streams classic fights to fans; and The Young Turks, a progressive talk show.
While many will be upset by the news, it shouldn't be particularly surprising. The UFC already charges for the vast majority of their video library at UFC.tv and have a history of being severely overprotective of their copyrighted material. This is just an extension of that. If the UFC has an opportunity to charge for their content, they're going to take it.
Here's the UFC's description of the content they'll be providing for $5.99 per month on the UFC Select channel:
All your favorite UFC action is just a click away. The all new UFC Select channel provides access to full event replays, classic fights, and full episodes of your favorite UFC shows such as UFC Unleashed, The Best of Pride Fighting Championships and the hit reality show The Ultimate Fighter.