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ESPN raises pay-per-view price for third time since Endeavor UFC acquisition

Syndication: Florida Times-Union Clayton Freeman/Florida Times-Union via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Starting with UFC 270, the standalone pay-per-view prices for UFC events on ESPN+ are again going up, with the streaming platform increasing the cost to $74.99 from its current price of $69.99.

Also getting a bump is the ESPN+ PPV Package, which includes one UFC pay-per-view event and a year subscription to the streaming platform. That will now cost $99.98, up from $89.98.

The change, which marks the third price hike since the UFC struck a broadcast deal with ESPN, was announced on Thursday by Neo Media World, a marketing agency affiliated with the network. Not affected by the increase is the monthly subscription fee for ESPN+, which currently stands at $6.99, and the yearly membership of $69.99.

One year ago, the Disney-owned ESPN announced that beginning with UFC 257, UFC pay-per-view prices would be raised to $64.99 from the previous price of $59.99.

The increases come after a record-breaking period of company profits for Endeavor, the UFC’s parent company. The talent and entertainment conglomerate credited the MMA promotion as a major revenue driver at a time when other properties were still emerging from pandemic-induced losses.

In the third quarter of 2021, Endeavor, which this past April went public, announced $1.4 billion in revenue with a net income of $63.6 million. One year earlier, the company lost $21.8 million. Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel called the third-quarter earnings the “best nine-month, year-to-date period in UFC history.”

ESPN+ continues to see explosive growth in a crowded streaming marketplace with a reported 17.1 million paid subscribers, a year-over-year increase of 66 percent. The cable channel ESPN, meanwhile, continued to lose viewers with 76 million households, down 24 percent from its 2011 peak of 100.1 million.

UFC 270 takes place Jan. 22 and features a heavyweight title unifier between champ Francis Ngannou and interim champ Ciryl Gane.