FOX Sports Exclusive
UFC reveals details of new Fight Pass digital TV network
UFC Fight Pass, the company’s new digital platform, has officially launched into the hands of consumers. The subscription service will sell for a $9.99 monthly fee. The channel’s first of at least 10 annual live events will be the Jan. 4 UFC Fight Night event in Singapore which features a main event of Tarec Saffiedine vs. Hyun Gyu Lim. However, that event, as well as the rest of the library, will be free during an introductory period that will run until Feb. 28.
The service will first launch in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with plans to roll out in other countries starting around the first of March, the UFC’s chief content officer Marshall Zelaznik said during a press conference to announce the initiative during UFC 168 event weekend.
The platform will feature exclusive UFC Fight Night events and fights from the Zuffa video vaults including UFC, Pride, WEC, Strikeforce, EliteXC, Affliction and other libraries the promotion has purchased the rights to over time.
In all, around 3,000 fights will be available. In its first year of launch, Fight Pass will also be the home for a minimum of 10 live events per year and at least 150 bouts that cannot be seen anywhere else.
“Content is moving over the top in a lot of ways,” UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said. “We saw the success in a lot of the services, and essentially what we’ve created here is Netflix for the fight fan.”
Fight Pass will also air replays of UFC television shows including The Ultimate Fighter, UFC Unleashed and Best Of Pride, as well as broadcast original programming, special features and interviews, among other things.
The real draw is expected to be the live fights, and while most of the events the channel broadcasts live will be international shows with fighters that are specific to the region, that will not always be the case. For example, Fight Pass will broadcast a key event that emanates from London on March 8. In the main event of that show, Alexander Gustafsson will take on Jimi Manuwa, with a No. 1 contender shot on the line for Gustafsson. In theory, it could be the first step in what would be an anticipated rematch with champion Jon Jones.
“That’s kind of the flavor of what you’re going to see on this product,” Fertitta said.
Fight Pass will show those events both live and after the show in an on-demand format. The service will also exclusively absorb the "Early Prelims" fights that have been traditionally livestreamed on Facebook. The UFC has rebranded the Early Prelims fights as 'UFC Fight Pass Prelims', the opening contests of all UFC Pay-Per-View events and televised cards.
The UFC is currently in discussions with Roku and Apple TV to offer Fight Pass through an app. The company is also working with XBox and hoping it will be available on that platform within 60 days.
Fight Pass will include replays of major pay-per-views, although Zelaznik said the company will still working on how quickly it would upload current events on to the service. Currently, however, it is as recent as UFC 167, which aired on Nov. 16.
UFC Fight Pass will offer users access to a minimum of 10 UFC Fight Night events in 2014, streamed live from around the world. Here is a full summary of content Fight Pass will offer:
• The UFC fight library, dating back to UFC 1 in 1993 and including the never-repeated events and fights
• The library of fights from the Pride FC organization
• The library of the WEC organization
• The library of the Strikeforce organization
• Affliction Entertainment events
• The World Fighting Alliance library
• EliteXC’s library
• UFC president Dana White’s favorite fights
• The greatest KOs in UFC and MMA history
• The greatest fights in UFC and MMA history
• The entire lineage of the UFC world championships
• Greatest grudge matches
• Greatest comebacks
• Exclusive backstage access during UFC events
• Exclusive content from UFC president Dana White
• Brand new documentaries on the UFC, MMA and the sport’s biggest stars
• Exclusive interviews
• UFC FIT fitness and nutrition advice from UFC fighters and trainers
• International editions of The Ultimate Fighter including TUF China and TUF Brazil: Team Wanderlei vs Team Sonnen
HISTORICAL TV PROGRAMMING
• The Ultimate Fighter
• The Ultimate Fighter: Brasil
• The Ultimate Fighert: The Smashes
• UFC Countdown
• UFC Primetime
• UFC All Access
• UFC Wired
• UFC Unleashed
• WEC Wreckcage