The return of Conor McGregor in 2021 will coincide with higher pay-per-view prices for UFC cards on ESPN+.
On Wednesday, the Disney-owned network confirmed plans to increase the price of UFC pay-per-views going forward, raising them to $69.99 from the current price of $64.99. The increase will begin with the next major event, UFC 257, which is scheduled to take place on Jan. 23.
UFC 257 features McGregor in the headliner as he faces former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier in a rematch of their 2014 meeting. The event kicks off a trio of January shows on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
ESPN will also raise the price for annual ESPN subscriptions, upping the cost to $59.99 per year from the current price of $49.99, a 20 percent hike. According to the initial report from Variety, ESPN will allow renewals of annual subscriptions for existing subscribers at $49.99 until at least March 2, 2021.
This is the second price hike for UFC pay-per-views on ESPN since the promotion signed an exclusive deal with the broadcast network in 2019. Prices were originally increased from $59.99 to $64.99, and now an additional $5 charge will be added for UFC pay-per-view broadcasts starting in 2021.
Recently, the monthly subscription cost for ESPN+ was increased to $5.99 from $4.99.
Overall, ESPN+ has reported 11.5 million subscribers as of December, with nearly double the total number of subscribers added over the past year. The UFC has obviously played a huge part in the subscriber base for ESPN+ growing at such an exponential rate after the promotion moved to the network following the conclusion of its deal with FOX.
After news of the increase broke, McGregor tweeted his reaction.