UFC president Dana White waged a war in January of 2021. He declared the organization would be fully pursuing those who distribute UFC events unauthorized.
The campaign started with a claim of a ‘surprise’ on social media – and mind you one that was ridiculed to no end.
A while back White even went on the Logan Paul podcast impulsive and tried to explain this new shift in UFC’s policy of dealing with streams.
’ It’s a different story when you f****** get caught. We caught a lot of people and prosecuted people for it. It’s a whole another f****** ball game. That guy’s calling me up, crying, begging me not to do it.” White said.
But since then White has doubled down on his fear mongering campaign and in a recent interview he took it a degree further saying:
“I care about [the pay-per-views] dummy,” White replied when questioned by a fan about streaming in an interview with GQ.
“(athletes) get a piece of the pay-per-view revenue. People who steal it are stealing it from us and them.”
“And what happens to people who steal? You get f***ing smashed and you go to jail that is what happens to you, and I make sure that we get you. Everybody was f***ing laughing when I was talking about this but we caught a lot of people. People weren’t laughing when they got caught, and I had a lot of people begging me not to prosecute them but stealing is stealing.”
To this date there haven’t been any public cases. Further on, White went on to say he cares about pay-per-views. This might’ve been true in the past but as per Endeavor executives thanks to the ESPN deal the variability has been taken out of the equation.
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel was quoted saying:
“I used to have this lumpy business,”
“And right behind it, I sat down with Bog Iger and Kevin Mayer and I said, ‘Guys, do you want the ultra premium? I’ll take it off DirecTV and I’ll sell you for [ESPN] Plus my PPVs.’ And we negotiated a deal. I don’t have PPVs now, I’m not lumpy. I have a set number, I know my number. I think I negotiated a very good deal as to where it should be and they benefited from it and you can see the [subscription] growth for them. So I don’t have any variability. I’ve taken the variability out.”