I don't watch UFC but I've followed this thread with interest. Assuming that the Express article is correct, UFC agreed a number of 'additional' PPV events on Box Office as part of their renewed deal. Therefore, I would say that UFC must take most of the blame, firstly by dealing with Eleven Sports and then having to agree to BT's demands as a result of Eleven Sports.
Signing up for a subscription based on sports rights always carries a risk, it's in their T&C's. As for the timing of events, I don't recall a world boxing event in the last 25 years that's been at what I would call a reasonable hour, the USA seems to have the power to dictate and I assume that this also applies to UFC.
I agree with you about the limited ways to watch BT Box Office, but that is their choice for whatever reasons.
Slightly off topic but there was an article written a couple of years ago by I think, an ex employee of Sky, about acquiring sports rights. The detail suggested that he knew what he was talking about and it went into detail about the cost of rights, or loss of rights, verses the loss or gain of subscribers. I mention it because there's a possibility that a Box Office event will result in more net income even after some subscribers have asked to leave in protest.
Hi @Andy005 , when Dana White announced the UFC had gone back to BT Sport he mentioned how we'd get the same content delivered to us the way we did, BT Sport even said to fans previous to this "We appreciate your concerns. We have no plans to show UFC fights on Box Office" when they asked about this in regards to their subscriptions, so I can understand why those fans would be very upset right now.
Eleven Sports failed to secure a TV deal for their channel (which was in the terms for their UFC rights that they had to secure this first) and this is why it went back to BT Sport (Thankfully as they have done a fantastic job with the UFC, no doubt!). UFC basically give them the rights for whatever cost this may be and then BT Sport decide how to distribute it. As also mentioned in that article "BT Sport have decided to put a number of UFC PPV events behind a second paywall" and "Dave Shaw has revealed the number of PPV events on box office will be down to BT Sport". It really is BT Sport that have decided to push this onto their Box Office platform.
I remember Dana being very happy the UFC will be available for fans in the UK to see easily, specially as the sport is new and growing here many people that catch on to this at the moment are fans of other sports that because UFC is on BT Sport too, they happen to catch this and start to get into this (hence the sport growing) which benefits Dana at UK events (where the real money is) and also sales of merchandise throughout the year through their EU store is constant as the sport continues to grow. BT Sport are the distributors and they choose and decide where and how to distribute it (I remember seeing an interview with Dana about this also saying something along these lines). They basically just give them the rights to broadcast it as their platform in the UK.
I can't link things here that aren't from BT Sport but there is a video on Youtube of some guys talking about this, Conor McGregor is quite close to these guys too and has supported them quite a bit and they also are talking about it in regards to what I mentioned above with the whole UFC and Dana White thing. I can't link the video because I can only link Youtube video's here which BT Sport have uploaded however if you browse Youtube and search "UFC BT Sport Box Office" I'm sure you'll be able to find it. If you have the time, give it a listen fully through, you'll find it very interesting 🙂
Also, about the boxing thing, you have to remember UFC isn't as big as boxing in the UK, it's a new sport and a growing sport too, fans have had UFC delivered to them and promised the way that it has been which many signed up to BT Sport under this impression yet all of a sudden they've felt duped by this, which if you browse social media you'll see loads of this.
This tweet here I can link because it's from BT Sport themselves: https://twitter.com/btsportufc/status/1137328916933296128, however if you look at the replies there is over 1000 responses with upset from fans being mislead, cancelling contracts etc... which to be honest, I can understand how they feel because it was presented in a way where this wouldn't happen when they signed up so I get that completely, when they put Tweets up they usually get less than 5 replies, the odd one's might get up to 30 at best but it's nothing compared to this which goes to show.
For me personally, as I mentioned above it really is a case of what you mentioned with the limited ways to watch BT Box Office that upsets me the most, you don't put out a platform like this and make it only available to half your subscribers. Not only is this a kick in the teeth to those who subscribe to you via other platforms but it's also taking things away from them too, which in my opinion is not right at all. If you're going to put something out like this and charge for it you have to at least cater and make it accessible for all your customers no matter what platform they use to subscribe through simply because it's an important part of the content when they put things on to the Box Office. They complain about lack of buys and streams yet make it difficult for people to get in the first place, they can't have it both ways, if it was available and THEN people were doing it, then I understand but they're making it impossible for some people and that is very unfair.
It'll be interesting to see how the buys for the PPV go on this though I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't release them, I've never seen anything with such a landslide of refusals to buy and loads of cancellations, screen grabs etc.. all over their social media, it's crazy (even see the comments on their Youtube video which BT Sport have uploaded here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3QqaXku4zs (BT Sports official upload)).
Honestly Andy, I can understand fans upset totally to be honest and it's very valid. As mentioned above, for me it's the fact I can't even access the Box Office channel let alone purchase an event which as I say, I don't mind doing the odd one's cause it's nice to support them when they DO bring us good quality content but at least make it available for everyone first because otherwise they're completely taking away from some out of pure greed and to me that's not only really selfish but it's not right when you have good, honest, loyal paying customers.
A lot of these companies asked to be shafted to be honest, whether we agree or not, it's understandable as to why it happens and why some people feel the need to do so as to them, it's not about the fans as they claim but about the money they can get out of them and that's what it is when push comes to shove.
I can completely understand the frustration and upset in regards to this with the fans and it's not going to do BT any favours in the long run.
I don't disagree with you, it's just a question of what impact it has and the effect on their business. I left my previous supplier because they said "Only pay for the sports you love."
When I phoned up and said I wanted all sports except football, apparently that wasn't possible. I left out of principle even though I would lose my favourite sports of Cricket and F1. Yes I miss them, but has my decision affected their business in any way, unlikely.
It's a business and numbers game, as simple as that.
Yeah I know Andy, I was just explaining to give you a good idea in regards to it all with you not really following the UFC, it has been pretty in depth has all this stuff and that's where it comes from 🙂
In regards to this, looking at the amount that's cancelled on this it looks steep, of course I have no idea how many have or will order the PPV but it is looking unlikely they'll make up the numbers as opposed to the cancellations but until they release the number, I wouldn't know.
Fans seem really passionate about this here and it really is a case of if they buy it, they'll do it more often, if not, they won't, so I guess we'll have to see how it goes 🙂
They do feel mislead though and for me, I just wish they'd distribute the Box Office a bit more as mentioned above, I just really hope they sort that out cause I do feel that's very unfair.
Interestingly theres highlights of the Fury fight from the weekend scheduled on Sunday night on Bt Sport 2, wonder if they'll do the same with the UFC
So if this goes ahead at min of four fights moved to Box Office and add in the BT TV Sports increase. If you want to continue to watch BT Sports and all UFC then:
£4 x 12 = £48
£19.99 x 4 = £79.96
Total extra £127.96 per year. Wow!
Yeah, it's not a good move. What they fail to realise too is that UFC fans at the moment here are also very casual as it's a growing sport, many people are getting into it and enjoying it due to having BT Sports and it being there (for example football and boxing fans) however they're not at the point where they're going to make sure they catch every event let alone pay for it at early hours.
I read a comment on another forum here which made me realise even more how silly this decision is but this seems to be the general vibe around this. This was his post:
"I would talk to anyone I could about it except the fact
I work in a demograph which should cater to the average ufc fan
(Construction work with a lot of 20-35 year olds)
And I’m literally the only person that even knows what mma or ufc is
It’s still such a niche sport in the UK it blows my mind they would try this
Sure they sell out the o2 or the MEN etc
Casual fan **bleep** will buy those tickets just to have a night out
But buy a PPV and get up at 3am? LOL
This whole thing is just pure greed and like I said in previous post a 1000 buys is 20 grand
That could pay for the marketing team all year and they are gunna love that because our voices aren’t loud enough"
This is also another thing they haven't taken in mind.
For me, I have a few of my friends who have really started to get into it now simply because of me and they've been watching it, talking about it, loving it and getting into it, I find they talk more about UFC than boxing now simply because they know a lot of the fighters now, they look forward to fights all the time with various fighters as UFC are always announcing exciting fights where as with boxing we get one exciting fight every 6 - 9 months or something and even then they don't always deliver. Sure you can have UFC fights that are boring but you can guarantee even on the lowest carded event you get exciting fights where there's always something to talk about, not so much with boxing (take the Josh Warrington fight for example, boxing fans are all complaining how boring that event was, you don't get that with UFC even if the main fight doesn't deliver (which is rare)) and this is coming from Boxing fans but I can see how because we've all got into it now we barely talk about Boxing, yet UFC all the time we're excited for certain fights every week or so at least, they just always deliver and always pump them out alongside the fact the competition is huge too with the various fighters, the heart, toughness, determination etc.. which of course you get in Boxing too (there's some great fighters!!) but it's basically just a boxers against a boxer in every fight which is fine of course, but the variety and competition isn't as high.
However with my brothers friends for example, they're all like "UFC is sh*t" or "It's all about Boxing" simply because these people haven't even really watched UFC or do they know anything about it. I'll ask them to name some fighters and they never can other than Conor McGregor and that guy he fought (meaning Khabib) is all I'll get and it's like you don't know the fighters, the competition, the division etc... so this is why you don't really "get" it at the moment, which again is absolutely fine but they've not even watched it or entertained it other than seeing the odd fight in the background (sometimes it might be two guys or girls wrestling at that point and they judge it on the basis of that) but my point is, this is what most the fans are like at the moment (casual) and is an example in regards to how the sport is growing here which is where BT Sport were doing a fantastic job with the way they had it at the moment and by doing this they're hurting the sport and they're also hurting themselves because so many people were very made up and happy with BT Sport and the way they brought their UFC coverage, which isn't the case at the moment.
That's no diss on boxing by the way (I love Boxing too and as mentioned earlier I don't mind the odd fights and would buy the odd PPV (if they made the channel available to me at least which also p*sses me off as I find that selfish and greedy they'd do this by taking it away and not caring about all their subscribers who are also loyal paying customers)) but with UFC too there's so many fighters that soon as you hear a fight is announced, they're all exciting more times than not. I mean, say if Justin Gaethje vs Dustin Poirier was announced, or when Al Iaquinta, Tony Ferguson, Max Holloway, Anthony Smith, Ben Askren, Robbie Lawler (the list is endless) are announced in fights how it's continuous that fights are exciting every week or other week at least and when people get to know these fighters and the divisions too, they get excited about it and get into it and that's because they've given it chance to get into where many haven't (yet) at the moment, but they are slowly but surely coming round to it. Show anyone the Cub Swanson vs Doo Ho Choi fight for example and straight away they know how awesome that is and see something they don't really see in boxing.
Again, that's no diss on boxing, I don't want this post to read like it is as I wouldn't do that and I think boxing is great but my point is in regards to how the sport is growing and putting it on PPV is not only a kick in the teeth to the fans that have been loyal to BT for their UFC and all the things mentioned previously in this thread but also putting it on Box Office when some of their subscribers too don't even have the choice to purchase it either because they can't be bothered to sort it out and cater for them on their platforms and make the channel available, it's really bad and quite selfish which is a shame considering BT Sport have been great previously to this, specially with the UFC.
I went on a bit there haha but just wanted to kindly get some vibes down so hope you guys read through that (if not, it's fine) but honestly, this whole BT Sport Box Office it's more to it than just the money (which of course plays a huge valid part) but the time it's on, the fact the sports growing, the fact fans were duped into a contract on a promise of UFC coverage the way it was and would never change and also the thing I mentioned about how BT Sport have done this yet haven't catered for and know some of their loyal customers can't even access the Box Office channel cause they haven't updated it which is just selfish for the sake of greed.
I guess we'll just have to see how it goes but they really need to be hit here with this as if fans buy this PPV, they're just encouraging them to do it again even more, so they have to stand together on this one (as hard as it is) and not cave cause that's exactly what BT want and what they're taking advantage of.
I hope you guys managed to read all that ha 🙂
Just want to add on this, as I mentioned before as much as I don't agree with how they've mislead people with this whole UFC and BT Sport situation with the subscriptions and promises they've broken with that aside I wouldn't mind buying the odd PPV at all if:
1. The PPV's were on at a reasonable hour.
2. They didn't do this TOO MUCH.
3. They made sure the Box Office was available to ALL their subscribers on ALL platforms. (Such as the Plusnet platform for example)
The third point ***** me off the most because not only do I find that very selfish on BT Sports behalf but it's also stabbing their loyal paying customers in the back for the sake of greed, it doesn't matter how or where people subscribe to BT Sport they are ALL contributing to the business and are ALL good loyal paying customers, so this I feel is very bad and very selfish.
They SHOULD cater for and make sure ALL their subscribers have the opportunity to purchase the events otherwise they are taking it away from them for the sake of pure greed.
BT Sport have done a fantastic job bringing us UFC coverage so supporting them this way on the odd card I wouldn't mind doing at all, they've brought us some great content, specially with shows such as UFC Now (which is brilliant and the best show on there!) that supporting them with the odd PPV buy is fine but on the conditions above, specially as I say the 3rd point because that is really very selfish of them otherwise.
Do any BT managers even read this forum? I'd love them to see this specific post however I did just want to sum this up.
I've joined just to say I think this is a disgusting move on the part of BT Sports. I only pay for the UFC, nothing else on the channel interests me & if this is the route they wish to go I'll be cancelling my subscription.
How many people are realistically going to be buying a UFC PPV at 03.00? Is that pitiful amount really going to worth the loss of subscribers? Seems a very strange business move, especially when you consider this sport grew in the UK via the internet as it wasn't available on TV it seems a strange move to push fans back towards that.
Have also read that BT are trying to blame the UFC for this move, which is clearly a lie. Once the rights are sold it is down to BT how they provide the coverage to their subscribers.
I have cancelled my whole TV package due to this, UFC was all i watched on anything
so virgin media and bt are down £100 between them from me at least!
well done BT sports, just turning into Sky Sports now aren't you