Once again, a Conor McGregor pay-per-view will be the starting point for new UFC pay-per-view prices.
Variety magazine reported on Wednesday that beginning with UFC 257, ESPN will raise PPV events from $64.99 to $69.99. At the start of 2020, the UFC’s PPVs rose from $59.99 to $64.99 beginning with UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cerrone. As if that wasn’t enough, annual ESPN+ subscriptions will see an uptick from $49.99 to $59.99. Earlier this year the monthly subscription option went up slightly to $5.99 from $4.99.
There’s no denying that the UFC has been a major driver of ESPN+ subscriptions. McGregor in particular is credited with raising ESPN+ numbers (at the time) from 6.6 to 7.6 million after the Cerrone fight. The UFC was incredibly successful with its 2020 pay-per-view schedule even with the bulk of it occurring during this COVID-19 pandemic.
As for consumers, this news is certainly not welcome. In effect, if you have a monthly subscription and you purchase every UFC PPV then it’ll run you $912 per year before any applicable taxes. It’s a hefty price but I don’t think it’s totally unexpected. And if the sales remain strong through 2021 there’s no reason to believe we won’t see more bumps up down the line.