UFC 249 Delivers During Pandemic
A solid UFC 249 card during a global pandemic turned out to yield huge results.
The UFC was the first major organization to bring sports back in North America with the UFC 249 pay-per-view on Saturday night. Considering the overall strength of the card, it was arguably the most stacked event the promotion had ever put out.
Justin Gaethje defeated Tony Ferguson via fifth-round TKO in the main event to become the new interim lightweight champion; Henry Cejudo defended his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz in the co-main event; and there were a number of big finishes from Francis Ngannou, Calvin Kattar and Vicente Luque.
And with UFC president Dana White revealing that the event was trending well going into the weekend, it looks like he wasn’t lying as per Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand.
“Sources tell me that ESPN+ logged north of 700,000 buys – a good result for Saturday’s UFC 249 PPV, according to early numbers.”
Sources tell me that ESPN+ logged north of 700,000 buys – a good result for Saturday’s UFC 249 PPV, according to early numbers. SBJ Media is live: 🔒https://t.co/BECw4DrHhe🔒
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) May 11, 2020
Considering Conor McGregor’s return to action in January drew about 1 million pay-per-view buys along with the fact that Ferguson and Gaethje weren’t traditional mainstream draws, this is a very successful event for the UFC — and they’re only reported early numbers.
When all is said I bet the UFC made up to $40m on this event and paid out under $5m total to the fighters. Event margins could be as high as 70%+ in that case.
— John S. Nash (@heynottheface) May 12, 2020
It looks like the absence of a gate didn’t affect things either.