Is this Dana White's masterplan to stop illegal streamers?

UFC president Dana White
UFC president Dana White
Dhruv Sharma

UFC President Dana White does not take kindly to piracy. Recently, Dana White had warned in an expletive-laden Tweet about having a ‘surprise’ in store for those who plan to stream UFC events illegally in 2021.

Potentially as a counter-active measure, UFC and Dana White have teamed up with Encore Live. Fight fans can now watch the highly anticipated PPV from their cars with their loved ones at various drive - in theatres across the US.

The move is also seen as a means to exploit the relaxation in COVID 19 related restrictions.

However, fight fans are not impressed by this move as they see a price tag of USD 69 as a high amount for a drive-in experience. Tickets for movies or other screenings are exponentially cheaper in drive-in theatres.

Fans are not expecting the illegal streaming to be stemmed by this move.

In a hilarious Reddit thread, fans have openly mocked Dana White’s decision. Fans have left little to the imagination as they discuss what will happen when a fight card is being broadcasted at a drive-in. Click here to read the full exchange.

On a more serious note though, illegal streaming of UFC events has been a thorn in the side of the promotion. Though there have been no numbers released, losses due to illegal streams can go up to hundreds of million dollars annually. This problem may increase in 2021 due to an increase in PPV buy rates.

Dana White, however, will be hoping for lesser piracy in 2021 as COVID restrictions are slowly lifted internationally. We may even get to see crowds returning to UFC fights in 2021.

Dana White to usher in 2021 with UFC Fight Island 7

Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Conor McGregor World Press Tour - New York
Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Conor McGregor World Press Tour - New York

After a near month-long gap, UFC President Dana White is set to kick off 2021 with a bang. The first event of the new year takes place on January 16th. Former featherweight champion Max Holloway takes on fast-rising contender Calvin Kattar in the main event.

This event will serve as the first of three in one week with UFC 257 capping off a stellar seven days of fights and parties.

Incidentally, UFC will return to network television with this event as it will be broadcasted on ABC.

The last time UFC aired an event on network television was on 31st December 2018 with UFC on Fox 31. The preliminary card, though, will be broadcast on ESPN+ with the main mard being aired on both ESPN+ and ABC.

Argentine welterweight Santiago Ponzinibbio was set to make his comeback in the co-main event. He was scheduled to take on Muslim Salikhov but the latter had to withdraw from the fight. He will now face Chinese fighter Li Jingliang.

But fans be wary! While most enjoy the card through legitimate viewing means, ‘uncle Dana White’ will be keeping an eye out for illegal streamers. 

Edited by aditya.rangarajan
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