According to the Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand (via TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter), the UFC’s star-studded return to New York, N.Y., sold an impressive 700,000 PPV units through ESPN+ alone. That number does not include international sales, which undoubtedly pump the final sales number up closer to 1 million buys.
The card, held in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 6, 2021, featured a rematch between Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, a rematch between women’s Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili, and a slobberknocker between Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler.
Note: 700,000 ESPN+ pay-per-view buys. The worldwide figure is higher.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) November 23, 2021
I know these days people are only impressed when that magic million plus number gets hit, but this puts UFC 268 in a tie for fourth biggest PPV event of the year, beaten by the two McGregor PPVs and Adesanya’s failed attempt to “champ-champ” it against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259. With international numbers still unaccounted for, it could still slide into third after McGregor.
Those comparing this UFC 268 number to the recent 800,000 buy number for Canelo vs. Plant should also keep in mind that UFC PPVs are only available to those already paying for an ESPN+ subscription. That makes every sale all the more impressive because they also reflect a subscriber paying a monthly fee.
Suffice to say, UFC brass and ESPN execs must be pretty pleased with this latest event’s performance.
Here’s a list of the UFC PPV numbers from 2021 that we know of:
- UFC 257 - “Poirier vs. McGregor 2” (1,600,000 buys)
- UFC 264 - “Poirier vs. McGregor 3” (1,504,737 buys)
- UFC 259 - “Błachowicz vs. Adesanya” (800,000 buys)
- UFC 269 - “Usman vs. Covington 2” (700,000 buys not including international sales)
- UFC 261 - “Usman vs. Masvidal 2” (700,000 buys)
- UFC 263 - “Adesanya vs. Vettori 2” (600,000 buys)
- UFC 262 - “Oliveira vs. Chandler” (300,000 buys)
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