2020 was a stellar year for the UFC. In a pandemic hit year, the MMA promotion led the way with its arrangements for a safe environment to hold multiple events. Many new superstars emerged and the promotion grew from strength to strength.
However, if reports are to be believed, UFC fans will have to cough up extra money to watch the fights in 2021. As per a report by Variety.com, ESPN plus will hike prices for UFC PPVs and subscriptions for 2021.
As of Jan. 8, 2021, the price of UFC pay-per-view events on ESPN plus — the exclusive home of the promotion in the U.S. — will increase by USD 5 apiece, from USD 64.99 to USD 69.99.
Besides, the price of an annual ESPN plus subscription for new subscribers will go up 20%, rising from USD 49.99 to USD 59.99 per year. According to ESPN, renewals of annual subscriptions for existing subscribers will remain at USD 49.99 until at least March 2, 2021.
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.
As of Dec. 2, ESPN Plus had 11.5 million subscribers, nearly doubling in the past year thanks mainly to the deal with the UFC.
How the fight fans embrace the move though, remains to be seen.
Will fans around the world need to shell out more money for UFC events in 2021?
As of now, there have been no reports of viewers the world over (apart from in the US) needing to pay extra to watch UFC events in 2021.
However, that dynamic may change going forward depending on the platform in which the promotion airs in various countries.
The year 2021 kicks off with UFC Fight Night 184 in Abu Dhabi as Max Holloway takes on Calvin Kattar in a pivotal featherweight bout serving as the main event of the evening.
Four days later at UFC Fight Night 185, Neil Magny vs Michael Chiesa is being promoted as the main event. Khamzat Chimaev was scheduled to take on Leon Edwards as the headliner of that card, but the former had to withdraw due to COVID-19.
As a result, the fight has been postponed yet again.
We finish the week on January 23rd when Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier rerun their UFC 178 scrap at UFC 257, in a fight with major lightweight title ramifications.Published 31 Dec 2020, 15:52 IST