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ESPN+ records massive subscriptions for their new UFC “sewer sport”

By Zach Arnold | January 20, 2019

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ESPN rabblerouser and raconteur Dan Le Batard rudely and inappropriately treated guest Ariel Helwani as trash on his radio show. Le Batard correctly blitzed Disney management for promoting a “sewer sport” in exchange for saving the company with its new Over-The-Top subscription service.

Le Batard isn’t wrong in calling UFC a “sewer sport” for the way they promote Mixed Martial Arts. You have to call a spade a spade. UFC reinforced this notion by promoting Greg Hardy in the company’s semi-main event fight in Brooklyn. Hardy promptly lost by disqualification due to using a knee on the downed opponent.

The price for promoting a “sewer sport”?

Dave Meltzer reports that ESPN+ signed 525,000 new subscribers due to the UFC Brooklyn event headlined by Henry Cejudo destroying TJ Dillashaw. What makes the numbers so startling is that there is a heavy UFC presence over the next six months on ESPN+. Regardless of how successful Top Rank boxing cards have been on ESPN & ESPN+, there is no comparison to the subscription power that UFC is providing so far for Disney.

ESPN+ is a matter of life or death for Disney in professional sports. It must grow fast in order to maintain survival given the way cord cutting is accelerating. Disney paid a fortune to buy the rights to UFC programming. So far, so good.

What the monumental successes of both Jon Jones last December and Saturday’s Brooklyn event show is that there is no bottom for UFC in terms of paying any sort of price on the basis of fairness or morality. The dirtier, the better. The sleazier, the more seductive the product is. Disney has gone all-in with the swamp and there’s no turning back. Their future depends on UFC.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 6 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

6 Responses to “ESPN+ records massive subscriptions for their new UFC “sewer sport””

  1. Grace says:

    I am a huge UFC fan and fightpass subscriber. That said, I will have to miss all the matches on ESPN. I will not pay money to a network that takes political sides. ESPN burned their bridges with the Hill debacle. I don’t pay people that hate me. MSNBC of sports. I hope they go broke.

    • Rollo the Cat says:

      I agree Grace, except I no longer have a TV or follow MMA. Haven’t watched since UFC 100. But I am with you. Good luck with the boycott.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    I’ve been an ESPN+ subscriber for over 6 months now. The service is amazing for soccer fans. I probably watch it more than Netflix most nights.

    I’ve read a lot of complaints on MMA forums about the service, but most of them seem to be due to the user themselves.

  3. Affekonig says:

    Le Batard would know about sewers, his show is the ultimate sewer show.

  4. Affekonig says:

    Le Batard would know about sewers, his show on ESPN with his father is the ultimate sewer show.

  5. Diaz's packed bowl says:

    The parallels between the ufc and americas management are strikingly clear.

    Woodley, the champion, he won it and no body has taken it from him yet colby was made the interim champ by the pres who bad mouths woodley, but never fought woodley. The interim champ met with trump even though he was NOT the champion.

    Venezuela, Maduro the champ after Hugo was poisoned, won it. And the banker/opposition party which has not even stepped into the ring as an opponent of Maduro in any type of political contest, has been appointed interim president of Venezuala by the american president trump.

    Whether its the octagon, or the political arena, the people who have actually won their positions by hard work in that arena, are constantly denigrated and conspired against by the people who would never have the balls to step into the arena for any fight that wasn’t already fixed in their favor.

    Global @#%&!#@$ domination indeed!

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