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ESPN+ Pay-Per-View Events Launch on Hulu with UFC 262

Derek Walborn

Hulu’s launch of ESPN+ in March is getting some meat added to its bones. The company announced last week that it will also include pay-per-view events, starting with UFC 262.

According to Hulu, almost 60% of all its subscribers are sports fans, with UFC being a popular enterprise among them.

Earlier this year, ESPN also secured the rights to exclusive games courtesy of the NHL, bringing another high profile league to Hulu audiences.

The addition of pay-per-view content adds a shot in the arm to Hulu’s streaming portfolio, which has thus far experienced a tremendous amount of churn as viewers can’t seem to find reasons to continue to stick with their subscription to the service.

It is also widely predicted that streaming rights to NFL Sunday Ticket will land on ESPN+ as well.

While the development is big news for Hulu, competing streaming companies have been ravenous in their recent appetite for exclusive rights to sporting events.

FuboTV has been charging full steam ahead, acquiring RSNs at a rapid clip in order to grab viewers loyal to local teams. The service has also been updated with features that allow fans to record games and is working on a sportsbook component it hopes to unveil this year.

FuboTV is also looking to fans of international sports, acquiring exclusive rights to stream South American World Cup qualifying matches.

The NFL, America’s most-watched sports league, has been spreading its coveted content to providers ranging from NBC’s Peacock to Amazon Prime Video, which will exclusively air 15 of this year’s Thursday Night Football games.

Peacock will also be the only streamer to broadcast content from the (supposedly) upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, with parent company NBC going so far as to push into new, younger demographics by partnering with online streaming platform Twitch to create exclusive programming around the event.