UFC fans are going to pay more to catch the promoter’s premiere fights on Disney’s ESPN Plus streaming sports package next year.
As of Jan. 8, 2021, the price of UFC pay-per-view events on ESPN Plus — the exclusive home of the mixed martial arts fights in the U.S. — will increase by $5 apiece, from $64.99 to $69.99. In addition, the price of an annual ESPN Plus subscription for new subscribers will go up 20%, rising from $49.99 to $59.99 per year. According to ESPN, renewals of annual subscriptions for existing subscribers will remain at $49.99 until at least March 2, 2021.
It’s the second time ESPN Plus has raised the price of UFC PPVs: When the service first launched in April 2018, the UFC PPV events cost $59.99. That went up to $64.99 each at the beginning of 2020.
The moves signal that ESPN feels it has more pricing power with ESPN Plus, after the sports world suffered through pandemic cancelations and postponements in 2020. The price hikes come after ESPN Plus’ monthly price plan increased to $5.99 (from $4.99 previously) this summer. (The annual plan, even at the higher $60 rate, represents a 17% savings vs. the monthly plan.) ESPN Plus will remain $5.99/month, and the price of Disney’s triple-play bundle of Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu will stay at $12.99/month for now. However, as of March 26, 2021, Disney Plus pricing in the U.S. will increase by a dollar to $7.99 per month, when the bundle will go up to $13.99 per month.
As of Dec. 2, ESPN Plus had 11.5 millions subscribers, nearly doubling in the past year, Disney announced at its investor day conference this month.
ESPN Plus has advertised that it offers more than 12,000 live events annually, although the COVID-19 pandemic diminished the schedule for 2020. Live sports programming on ESPN Plus includes UFC Fight Nights and PPV events; MLS; NHL; MLB; Top Rank Boxing; Bundesliga, Serie A, FA Cup and English Premier League soccer; PGA Tour; and U.S. Open Tennis.
In addition to live sports, ESPN Plus includes thousands of hours of on-demand content including original shows and series, documentaries, features, classic events and select replays.
Pictured above: Deiveson Figueiredo (right) vs. Brandon Moreno in UFC 256’s main event on Dec. 12
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