Dana White says he moved PPV model to streaming due to cable dispute: “We were so tired of the cable side and the satellite side being basically pigs’

By Zain Bando - August 14, 2023

For the first time in 2023, Dana White opened up on the business aspects of the UFC and what has made the company successful since moving from FOX Sports to ESPN/ESPN+ in 2019.

Dana White

The UFC puts on 40+ annual events as one of the few promotions that exclusively stream without needing televised pay-per-view.

In an exclusive interview with YES Network and the “Sports Money Show,” Dana White, who has been the company president for 22 years and has been in partnership with Endeavor since 2016, broke down the reasons for the switch to ESPN after long-standing stints with DirecTV, Dish Network and inDemand pay-per-view.

Dana White said it was the business dealings of those providers that made it challenging to work with them on a monthly or sometimes multi-monthly basis.

“We’ve always been big risk-takers,” White said. “Obviously, back in the Fertitta days and now with the Ari [Emanuel] and WME days, too. Because when you think about it, at the time when we did the deal with ESPN+, we were butting heads really badly with DirecTV and the cable systems out there.”

White then Dana White met his breaking point.

“And, they basically pushed us to the point [where]  Ari and I had talked and we said, ‘You know what, let’s just go ESPN streaming,” White said. “You know, we were going on a streaming platform, which was incredibly risky at the time, even though you were doing it with Disney and ESPN. Massive risk, these guys were launching this thing, basically we helped them launch ESPN+. But were so tired of the cable side and the satellite side being basically pigs.”

The UFC’s ESPN deal goes until 2025, as it is required to purchase ESPN+ to access the pay-per-views for a separate fee each month. The promotion  has continued to increase the price of pay-per-views each year, and there’s a good chance that the marketing strategy will continue moving forward.

What do you think of Dana White’s comments? Let us know, Penn Nation!

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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