Despite two excellent championship title fights including one that may go down as the best middleweight title fight of all time, the first ESPN+ PPV reportedly sold poorly.
Dave Meltzer reports in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, that “there is talk that [UFC 236] did well under half of the 200,000 number that would be what one would have predicted the show to do had it been a television PPV.”
That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering the widespread backlash that ESPN+ took on social media following their first PPV voyage. That platform forced potential PPV buyers to first go through their desktop browser to order the event before they could access it on other devices.
If the reports are indeed accurate, it would put UFC 236 on par with UFC 224 as the lowest-selling PPV in the last 15 years. In an attempt to save face, ESPN’s Andrew Feldman recently announced that fans can now purchase their UFC PPVs through the ESPN App going further.
While the early returns on the ESPN+ PPV partnership haven’t exactly been a grand slam, the long-term nature of the partnership between the worldwide leader in sports and the leader in MMA ensures that they are in this for the long haul.