After a number of hugely successful events in 2015, UFC boss Lorenzo Fertitta has revealed that they’ve had a record breaking year as far as overall revenue goes.
“Because we are a private company, we don’t get into profitability,” Fertitta told CNN Money. “But we’ll generate about $600 million in revenue for the year 2015, which is a record for the company, and it’s fairly significant growth coming off of 2014.”
“The exciting part of the platform that we’ve built is that we’ve been able to embrace different tiers of revenue. We have our basic pay-per-view business, that is our biggest source of revenue. Then we have our media rights, which is really similar to rights that we sell to FOX for all of the programming we give them. And then we have embraced the over-the-top platforms, where we launched UFC Fight Pass, which is a subscription service $9.99 per month where you can access the entire UFC library and we also put live exclusive UFC events from around the world on that format, as well as original programming. So we really have those three sources of revenue to generate three ways to monetize our contacts.”
It’d be very interesting to see a breakdown of how much each of those tiers brings to the overall revenue pot, but unfortunately Fertitta didn’t offer that level of detail.
However, there’s no doubt that this year pay-per-view was a huge catalyst for their overall success with a number of events either coming close to, or indeed breaking, the one million buy mark.
They hit the ground running early in January with a big rivarly between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier propelling UFC 182 to 800,000 PPV buys.
The year really belonged to two people though, Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey who steadily rose to a level of popularity we’ve not seen since the heyday of GSP and Brock Lesnar in 2015.
The much hyped UFC 189 event in the summer saw McGregor facing late replacement Chad Mendes which garnered 825,000 buys, but to everyone’s surprise Rousey’s star power then pushed her UFC 190 fight with Bethe Corriea in Brazil to 900,000 buys – as big as we’ve ever seen for a UFC event outside of North America.
These two weren’t finished there though and both managed to outdo themselves in the final months of the year with Rousey’s shock loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November reported to have drew close to 1.1 million sales which would place it in the top 5 UFC PPV’s of all time, while early reports suggest that McGregor’s featherweight title winning fight against Jose Aldo may well have topped that impressive buy rate to literally end the year on a high.