Dana White Says the UFC Fight Pass Has Been a Big Success So Far
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 03.07.2014
It actually has more subscribers now that it costs...
Dana White spoke today about the UFC digital Fight Pass network. Check out the highlights:
On the Fight Pass' success: "I expected there to be more people on Fight Pass when it was free than we went live, but it was the complete opposite. There's way more people subscribed now than we were actually free, so it's pretty interesting."
On Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jimi Manuwa being on the Fight Pass: "The fight is being distributed (on television) to 350 million possible homes throughout the world," White said. "The fight is available in Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the Philippines, Australia, Mongolia, India, New Zealand, the U.A.E. – Abu Dhabi and all of those countries down there. In the U.K., the entire card will be on BT Sport. The entire card, and the main event, for the first time ever here, will be on Channel 5 – open TV to everybody – the main event will be. We're in Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Croatia and Israel. All of those countries, on television – 350 million homes."
On why the card was pushed to the Fight Pass: "So the reason that this happened was we added 10 more [events]. We went to FOX and tried to see if FOX would pick up these 10 more fights, and they didn't, so that's why we put these on Fight Pass. … [FOX executives] create their budgets at the beginning of the year, and it wasn't in their budget to pick up these fights. Not to say that they don't pick them up later or whatever could happen with the deal, but that's what happened. So it's either nobody gets to see them, or you put them on Fight Pass. I hope that clears up some of the questions about Fight Pass. Anybody else in the rest of the countries I didn't call, they get it on Fight Pass, too, which of course all these people in other countries are pumped to pay for it on Fight Pass, whereas the Americans who are used to getting these fights for free, some of them are a little twisted."
On the whole UFC library not being on Fight Pass yet: "You know how much time it takes to get all this stuff? Plus, some of this old footage, we have to take things out. There's some things that we can't leave in there: old sponsors that were on there and things that you can't do. We can't do it. So some of that stuff needs to be stripped out, and we're working on it. The thing about Fight Pass is it's only going to get better and better and better. More and more content is going to be loaded up on there."
On the Fight Pass helping expansion to other countries: "I don't know if we really explained how many other countries this would be in on some form of television," White said. "It's part of the growth of the sport. We added 10 more fights. We're moving into these countries. … What we're doing is we're localizing the sport here in these different countries. Here in England, you're never going to become a mainstream sport if you're on at 3 o'clock, 4 o'clock in the morning. So now we're here, in your country, on your free TV in primetime, the way that we've done it in the U.S. Why hasn't it worked over here? Because we haven't done it the right way. Now we're doing it the right way."