February 6, 2020
Pay-per-view, boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) have been partners practically since the beginning of television. But streaming video is still a new frontier.
During Disney’s quarterly financial results, it was disclosed that Irish MMA superstar Conor McGregor helped upstart subscription streaming service ESPN+ generate more than 1 million PPV streams for UFC 246 — a record for a live streaming event that cost $70 to watch over the Internet.
McGregor defeated Donald Cerrone Jan. 18 in the headline event — in 40 seconds.
Disney said the fight and McGregor contributed to ESPN+ adding 1 million subscribers since the end of the company’s fiscal quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2019) to 7.6 million subs from 6.6. million. Indeed, 500,000 subs signed up just for the fight.
ESPN+, which launched in April 2018, had just 1.4 million subs in January 2019. The service, which costs $4.99 monthly, is also offered as a bundle with Disney+ and Hulu for $9.99 monthly.