UFC Fight Pass head Eric Winter says UFC won’t walk away from traditional PPV: “UFC Fight Pass is not the WWE Network”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

“I ultimately took over running the PPV events marketing team at DirecTV when I was there. My knowledge on the PPV perspective is really deep and narrow. When I moved from DirecTV to Yahoo!, one of the first calls I made was to Dana White and ultimately Yahoo! became the exclusive global streaming provider for UFC PPV. I’m telling you, our traditional PPV business is growing. It’s not going anywhere. UFC Fight Pass is not the WWE Network. We don’t have to walk away from traditional cable and satellite. Yes, cord-cutting is happening but there will always be audiences in traditional cable and satellite. We, as a business, need to create and deliver content wherever audiences are, but I’m telling you: PPV business is growing both traditionally and digitally.”

-Eric Winter, UFC senior vice president and general manager of Fight Pass, talks to ESPN.com ahead of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 84 event on the digital service about why the UFC won’t be turning away from traditional pay-per-view.

Penick’s Analysis: The UFC has a handful of stars capable of still drawing significant business on pay-per-view, so on that end they’re nowhere close to the subscriber base needed on Fight Pass to make up for those kinds of events. With that said, there could be some benefit to taking fights that would be lacking as a pay-per-view draw and putting them on a different platform, and that’s what they’re testing out with Saturday’s fight between Anderson Silva and Michael Bisping. It’s arguably a fight which could draw on the low end for the UFC’s pay-per-view efforts, or draw significant eyes to Fox Sports 1, but they’re going to see what kind of boost it can have to their streaming service efforts, and they’ll continue on from there.

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