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Study: ESPN+ Subscribers Who Purchase UFC PPV Events Are More Loyal Than Those Who Don’t

Michael King

A new study from industry analytics firm Antenna that looked closely at consumers of streaming sports content has indicated that subscribers of ESPN+ who have taken the extra step of purchasing a UFC PPV event tend to be more loyal viewers than those who do not do so.

The study took a look at two major questions — first, whether or not sports fans are willing to pay more for live sports content; and secondly, whether those sports fans will translate to becoming loyal subscription video-on-demand subscribers.

Antenna’s Brendan Brady points out that The Walt Disney Company has closely embraced the “in-app purchase” model on top of ongoing monthly subscription fees.

In particular, Brady mentions the Disney+ Premier Access $30 add-on fee for first-run theatrical releases on Disney+, which has been used with motion pictures like Cruella, Soul, and Raya and the Last Dragon, as well as the upcoming Black Widow and Jungle Cruise.

ESPN+

ESPN+ is a live TV streaming service that gives access to thousands of live sporting events, original shows like Peyton’s Place, the entire library of 30 for 30, E:60, The Last Dance, as well exclusive written analysis from top ESPN insiders.

The service can be subscribed for US$6,99 / mes per month or annually for US$69,99 / año.

You will get a daily out-of-market game from MLB, and every out-of-market NHL and MLS game with NHL.TV and MLS LIVE.

The service has some of the most attractive soccer coverage including Bundesliga, LaLiga, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredevise and more.

College sports fans will be able to watch thousands of games and events including football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track & field, gymnastics, swimming & diving, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, golf, and more.

For boxing and UFC fans, the service offers Top Rank boxing and will be the home of 15 exclusive UFC events.

ESPN+ now includes exclusive insights from analysts like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay (which used to be part of ESPN Insider), as well as premium Fantasy Tools & PickCenter.

What it does not include is most live sports that air on ESPN y ESPN2.

To get access to those channels you have to subscribe to a live TV streaming service. We suggest reading our guide on How to Watch ESPN without Cable.

ESPN+ uses the same model for its UFC PPV events for subscribers.

“Whether by cause or effect, ESPN+ seems to have found a group of power users who are both willing to pay more for exclusive content and are more loyal to their Subscriptions,” Brady said.

He said the trend tends to hold true across all of the ESPN+ subscription plan models.

Of those who subscribe to the Disney Bundle, which couples ESPN+ with Disney+ and Hulu for a substantial monthly savings, Brady says UFC PPV purchasers were 6 points better retained.

In comparison, those who subscribe to ESPN+ as a standalone app and pay on an annual plan were 20 points better retained, and those who subscribe to ESPN+ as a standalone app paying on a monthly basis were 24 points better retained, he said.

Brady said that this indicates that those ESPN+ subscribers who purchase UFC PPV events contribute higher revenue per user and are more loyal to their subscriptions than those who do not purchase the pay-per-view events.

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