UFC Fight Pass is the UFC's venture into having their own video service via the growing streaming market. Fans were excited about the announcement, but that quickly turned to criticism after the WWE announced the WWE Network.
The criticism is unfair.
The two companies have always been linked together. MMA and professional wrestling share a significant fanbase, and they covet the same demographics. However, how they go about their business is different.
One of the criticisms after the WWE Network announcement was the difference in value. The WWE will put all of their PPVs on the service at no additional charge, and the UFC does not match this. There is a good reason for this: The WWE is not a PPV company.
The UFC is a PPV company. That is their bread and butter. They have a TV deal with Fox, and they are hoping that Fight Pass delivers an additional source of revenue. But PPV is where they live and die—right now.
The PPV business for the WWE is not where it lives and breathes, and it has consistently underperformed aside from WrestleMania. There is little risk for the WWE to put their PPV product on their new service. It will lead to more subscriptions.
Two of the other big criticisms came from the amount of programming available and original programming, both of which are easy for the WWE to offer.
In terms of total available programming, the WWE has thousands of more hours available than the UFC. Just the WWE library, alone, is thousands of hours more expansive than the UFC's.
In total, the UFC has 258 shows and counting. The WWE run around 300 dates every year and have done so for over 50 years. Add in the other film libraries that they own, and you start to understand the scope of the WWE's tape library.
As for original programming, it is a nonsensical argument to get upset at the UFC over. The UFC is promoting a sport. Storylines help sell the product, but the UFC cannot manufacture them out of thin air. The WWE can.
The leader in sports entertainment can write whatever they so chose. They have creative freedom, whereas the UFC does not.
To get angry that UFC Fight Pass does not have a multitude of original programming is being shortsighted. They are not afforded the same opportunity to be as creative as the WWE. The two services should be judged by themselves and not against each other.
The two streaming services are fantastic for fans and will only improve over time. They just are not comparable to one another.
The WWE Network is the better value today, but comparing the two products is simply not fair. The two companies are different, and so are their streaming services. Yet at these prices, they are still both good values.