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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Brendan Schaub Lays Into UFC’s ESPN+ PPV Deal

Brendan Schaub (photo via Below the Belt / YouTube)

By FCF Staff

Brendan Schaub hasn’t been shy about criticizing Dana White and the UFC’s business practices in the past, and the former fighter’s doing so again, following the promotion’s pay-per-view move to ESPN+.

Recently the UFC announced that its PPV viewings in the United States, had moved to the streaming service, ESPN+. As a result, fans must be subscribed to the service in order to purchase a PPV. The decision has sparked speculation as to how it will impact PPV sales as well as fighter revenue, since the UFC is reportedly now paid a licensing fee up front.

During a recent episode of his “Below the Belt” podcast, Schaub was highly critical of the move (quotes via BJ Penn.com):

“We heard Brock Lesnar turned down the deal,” Schaub said. “Conor… we haven’t heard anything from him. The UFC is content just being in cruise control because they have this reliable nut from ESPN. They’re set there, so they’re not willing to be bend over backwards to get a guy like Brock Lesnar anymore. They don’t need it. They don’t have to give Conor McGregor half the company to come back.

“Everyone wins, but the fighters are so f**ked because it’s such a limited viewership now. So your sponsors are less — if you even had any. Your notoriety, your fame, your social media following, your YouTube channel to sell merch… The day and age of a superstar in the UFC is gone, gone. It’s so gone.”

“Notice the direction of the marketing now on ESPN. Who do you see now? Dana White. It’s very Vince McMahon… This is the face that you recognize. Because you won’t recognize the fighters, but you recognize Dana White. So his ego and his popularity goes up. That’s the face [of the company] now…”

Recently it was reported that last month’s UFC 236 card, which was the first to be held on ESPN+, may have sold less than 100,000 buys.

posted by FCF Staff @ 11:50 am
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