Friday, January 17, 2020

UFC signs Facebook video deal to drive pay-per-view buys: Report

Cain Velasquez explains challenges of moving from UFC to WWE

Former UFC champion Cain Velasquez explains the differences between MMA and the WWE. Velasquez is joined by Rey Mysterio to give his thoughts on his upcoming WWE match with Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel.

UFC has signed a deal with Facebook to produce three original shows for the social media platform’s Facebook Watch vertical this year, Variety reported.

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The mixed martial arts fight promoter is hoping the shows will drive more viewers to become customers for its pay-per-view events, according to the report.

“Our primary objective is to push viewership and transactions on Saturday nights,” Dave Shaw, senior VP of content and international for UFC, told Variety.

UFC IS IN CHINA LOOKING TO DOUBLE ITS MONEY: REPORT

UFC’s pay-per-view fights appear on ESPN+. A subscription to the streaming service costs $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. Pay-per-view UFC events cost $64.99 on top of the subscription cost, and ESPN is bundling Saturday’s UFC 246 with an annual subscription for $84.98.

The new Facebook Watch shows include live interview shows “Quick Hits” with host Laura Sanko, a show highlighting fighters answering fan questions called “The Check-In Show” and “Fighter Commentary,” which features fighters discussing their past and upcoming fights, Variety reported.

The first episodes of “The Check-In Show” and “Fighter Commentary” went live this week ahead of Saturday’s fights, highlighting the two main events on the card — Conor McGregor vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in welterweight and Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington in bantamweight.

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The shows will tie in to 20 UFC events this year, including 12 pay-per-view shows and eight “Fright Night” events, according to the report.

UFC will also continue uploading its other videos to Facebook. The company generated more than $1 million in ad revenue from its Facebook content in 2019, according to the report.

Facebook is pulling back on scripted original series for Watch. Deadline reported this week that the social media company opted to not renew the Jessica Biel-starring “Limetown” or “Sorry For Your Loss” starring Elizabeth Olsen. The company is reportedly planning to focus more on unscripted content, apparently like UFC’s live shows.

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