In a move that will likely please fighters such as Anderson Silva, who receive a portion of pay-per-view (PPV) proceeds, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has implemented a price hike for its UFC 168 event on Dec. 28, 2013.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, however, probably aren't going to be very jazzed at the thought of being forced to fork over an additional five bucks to see the Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva and Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate co-headlined event. The high definition price for UFC 168 will increase from $54.99 to $59.99 and raise from $44.99 to $49.95 for standard definition.
This, despite UFC President Dana White's one-time promise that his company would never raise PPV prices.
If you're a pecuniarily-challenged UFC fan who doesn't have an extra five bucks to spare, you can likely blame Floyd Mayweather for this price hike.
This past September, the aptly nicknamed "Money" took on Canelo Alvarez in a bout that drew an estimated 2.2. million PPV buys, despite a $75 HD price point (per Yahoo Sports). In contrast, the most purchased UFC event in history, the Brock Lesnar-headlined UFC 100, netted around 1.6 million buys.
With White going on record predicting UFC 168, which takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, will be "the biggest PPV [UFC has] ever done," the company's rationale for this $5 increase becomes easy to understand.
If UFC can indeed match or exceed UFC 100's number, which appears doubtful given recent business indicators, they would pocket an extra $4 million or more if we estimate an even split of revenue with PPV providers. Even if the show does a more realistic 800,000 or so buys, that still translates to an additional $2 million for UFC.
It remains to be seen whether or not this price hike is a one time thing, or if it will be the new standard for UFC on PPV.
Fans may not balk at paying an additional $5 to see one of the biggest shows of the year, but a higher price would likely deter a portion of UFC's fanbase from ordering less star power-heavy events, such as this coming February's Dominick Cruz vs. Renan Barao headlined UFC 169.
Whatever the case may be, let's hope Silva uses the extra money he'll be pocketing from the PPV price hike as motivation to actually try and hit Weidman this time around.
What do you think maniacs? Will a higher price tag deter you from ordering UFC 168, or is an extra $5 a negligible price to pay for the biggest show of the year?
Sound off in the comment section below!