The UFC will be raising the price of pay-per-view by $5 for one show only, as UFC 168 will be $49.95 for standard definition and $59.95 for high definition viewing. Dana White noted the increase after Saturday's UFC on FOX show, for the show that takes place on Dec. 28 at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas. While the company has raised prices every few years, as have all pay-per-view providers, UFC has been the only one of the major producers that has had a specific price for every show, whether it was considered a strong show or a weak show. It will be the first time UFC has raised the price for a singular major event.
White said that he wasn't part of the decision-making process, and that it was Zuffa CEO Lorenzo Feritta who made the call. With the Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva middleweight title rematch and the Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate women's bantamweight title rematch coming off The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), on paper, this is the strongest show of the year. White has at various times predicted this show will break all company pay-per-view records.
But even if it doesn't, it would be a surprise if it was not among the bigger shows in company history. The price is still lower than the biggest events from the other major providers, such as a Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight or World Wrestling Entertainment's WrestleMania show.
The show has a $6 million advance, and will be the third highest grossing live event in company history. It trails only UFC 129 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, headlined by Georges St-Pierre vs. Jake Shields, and UFC 148, headlined by Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen.
White noted that the price will go back to $44.95 and $54.95 for the Feb. 1 show in Newark,N.J., which will remain the regular price. A big surprise, given the high-profile nature of the main event, is that UFC is not doing a three-week Primetime series. "It's on hiatus," White said, noting at this point there are no plans to do the shows for the time being.
"They are so expensive to produce," he said, noting the limited viewership the shows have been getting since moving to Fox Sports 1 have made the shows no longer cost-effective. The Primetime shows were generally doing more than 500,000 viewers per episode when they aired on FX, and years ago during the biggest grudge matches in company history, like Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir and Rampage Jackson vs. Rashad Evans, they did more than double that figure on Spike. But the shows building up Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos and St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendicks were generally doing less than 150,000 viewers since they are on a less established network.