While upstart mixed martial arts promotions crash and burn due to an inability to generate income, the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced plans for a new revenue stream on Thursday in conjunction with communications giant Verizon. The two companies have signaled their intent to launch a new video-on-demand service that will be distributed via Verizon’s FiOS TV.
“As UFC continues to thrive in sports, we constantly look for new ways to deliver the UFC experience to our loyal fans around the world,” UFC President Dana White is quoted as saying in a press release. “The VOD program will provide more information on the UFC, training techniques, and some of the greatest fights in history available 24/7 through UFC On Demand.”
“Verizon’s FiOS TV customers are getting the ultimate entertainment experience with our industry-leading video-on-demand library,” added Terry Denson, Vice President of FiOS TV Content and Programming. “And now our FiOS TV customers have access to all of the best ultimate fighting action from UFC, available at any time.”
FiOS is a competitor to both cable and satellite with premium television content delivered to the home via Verizon’s high-speed phone lines. The service is currently available to 8.2 million subscribers in 14 states such as California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Massachusetts.
As a part of the the announced deal, the UFC will make content available to Verizon customers on an in-demand basis through a triple-tiered offering of three distinct services: UFC Free Zone, UFC Fight Zone and UFC Event Zone.
UFC Free Zone will feature free content that will consist of UFC Countdown shows, event previews, as well as short features that will educate newer fans about MMA rules and different fighting techniques.
The Fight Zone tier will make the UFC’s vast library of fights available to viewers on an in-demand basis at a cost of $2.99 per fight.
The package’s other premium tier, the Event Zone, will allow viewers at a cost of $4.99 per title to order replays of past events, DVD releases, as well as “UFC Classics” from 1993-1998.
If this the new VOD service is a success, it could allow the UFC to bring the concept to other major premium television providers. If the service became available on a widespread basis, it would mean that the UFC will have opened up yet another lucrative revenue stream outside of pay-per-view buys, ticket sales, and merchandise orders.