UFC Fight Night 84 -- which went down last night (Sat. Feb. 27, 2016) from the O2 Arena in London, England -- was a major success for UFC Fight Pass, Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) online digital streaming platform.
According to Eric Winter, Senior Vice President and General Manager of UFC Fight Pass, the event exceeded the promotion's expectations, reaching numbers beyond their wildest dreams saying that not only were current customers online for the event, but many new clients signed up for a subscription.
Winter spoke to MMA Fighting about the success of the event, which was aided by the fact that it was headlined but none other than Anderson Silva taking on hometown favorite, Michael Bisping.
"It's a two-year old company, two-year old project and a two-year old initiative and tonight was a historic night beyond out wildest dreams. It exceeded everything we expected. All the numbers we put together, all the peaks and currents together in terms of most amount of customers online at one time, and it was a monumental night. It actually exceeded our expectations of current customers watching. I said it before and I'll use it again, it was a tsunami of people coming in; current customers and new customers. Think about it this way: this event in London ended before an event would have started traditionally in the U.S. So, by virtue of the fact that Michael Bisping upset the greatest mixed martial artist in history, people want to come back in naturally and watch that fight. We started seeing spikes after the announcement that Michael had won. So, we need to go back and we need to regroup. And we get to continually count numbers all the way through the end of the weekend and beyond."
Indeed, fight fans were puzzled at the initial announcement that Silva's long-awaited return to the cage after serving his one-year suspension would be aired on Fight Pass (see the fight again here).
Now, it seems, it was all a clear it was part of UFC's plan -- that obviously worked -- to increase viewership and subscriptions to it's online streaming site.
However, the event didn't go off without problems, as a major glitch early on during the event caused an uproar. During the Tom Breese and Keita Nakamura bout, the stream froze during the "Tale of the Tape." And it stayed there the first two rounds of the Welterweight collision.
According to Winter, though, that buffering glitch only occurred on people's personal computers, not other devices.
That said, there is still plenty of room for improvement, which means it will be a long while before UFC event contemplates going the WWE route, after the wrestling entertainment organization opted to stream all of the events that would normally be pay-per-view (PPV) on its online streaming site, WWE Network.
For complete coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 84 card, including post-fight recaps and analysis, click here.