UK fans tuning in to tonight’s ‘UFC On FOX 4’ prelims tonight on UFC.TV were unexpectedly met with a request for $7.99 to watch the fights.
That came as a surprise given that prelim fights have always been free in the UK up until this point, and there had been no advance warning from the UFC that they were adopting a new PPV policy aside from a brief mention on Twitter a few hours before the event got underway.
Contacting the UFC to get clarity on the situation we received a response that revealed the $7.99 fee was incorrect, but that asking UK fans to pay to view the fights was something they had intended to implement.
“We truly appreciate hearing from our fans, and need to balance out cost of product vs accessibility to our fans globally. We are testing some price changes and appreciate your feedback.
The price displaying on the site may not be correct because of site cache timing. The correct pricing for the region is below, and you will see this charge on your credit card statement.
£4.99 | £1.99 (UK/Scotland)
€6.99 | €2.99 (Ireland)
Thank you for your patience and interest in the UFC!”
Adding to the general confusion over the situation the main ‘UFC On FOX 4’ card is actually still available to watch free on ESPN UK, the channel who announced earlier this week that they have signed a year’s extension to their current TV deal with the promotion.
There’s so far been an angry reaction from fans to the decision. The UK has historically been resistant to the pay-per-view model in general so it was never going to go down well, but the fact that it appears to have been so badly managed has only further enhanced the feeling of resentiment to it so far.
We’ll continue to monitor the situation, but for now the UFC is telling fans to send their thoughts on the matter to [email protected]