2021 is shaping up to be a year full of changes for the UFC. Each year, the company takes steps forward in an effort to make combat sports as mainstream as possible. Starting with UFC 257, the UFC plans on raising the prices of their PPV cards.
Currently, purchasing a UFC card in standard definition would cost a consumer $64.99. However, when Conor McGregor takes on Dustin Poirier, the price will rise to $69.99. Overall, ESPN and other Disney entities have increased their pricing as well for subscription-based services.
ESPN Raises PPV Price
The price of ESPN’s flagship streaming service ESPN+ went from $4.99 to $5.99. As well as annual subscriptions to the network increasing from $49.99 to $59.99. Of course, Conor McGregor himself commented on the price increases on social media.
That’s a lot of cheese, Mr. Mouse 🧀 https://t.co/CXkHHazwWy
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) December 31, 2020
“ESPN Plus to Hike Prices of #UFC Pay-Per-View Events, Annual Subscription,” reported Variety on Twitter.
“That’s a lot of cheese, Mr. Mouse,” responded McGregor.
There are a plethora of logical reasons as to why the price increase is happening. Globally, the pandemic has put a lot of major establishments in a bind financially. Since March, ESPN has laid off a lot of its popular newscasters, while the UFC has also begun the process of cutting 12% of its current roster. Regardless, nobody will understand the price increase unless Disney itself explains their reasonings.
The magnitude of McGregor vs Poirier certainly feels like a UFC championship fight. However, it’s unclear if the retired, yet current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is still in the picture. If the UFC decides to strip Khabib of his title before UFC 257, it’ll be interesting to see if the organization upgrades the main event to a title fight.
With so many parts circulating around the event, the UFC will more than likely promote UFC 257 more, in hopes of not losing PPV buys. With McGregor on the card, it’ll be easier for the organization to explain why raising the prices of a PPV during a pandemic is justified.