PPV UFC 214 comes to Sling TV. Will it drive subscriptions?

By Jim O'Neill on Jul 26 2017 at 9:30 AM
PPV UFC 214 comes to Sling TV. Will it drive subscriptions?

Sling TV is planning to offer its first-ever pay-per-view (PPV) event, the much anticipated UFC grudge match that features a pair of light heavyweights. UFC 214: Cormier v. Jones 2 features current champ Daniel Cormier against ex-champ Jon Jones who last met in 2015 at UFC 182.

Although the event will draw a decent following, it’s not likely to strain Sling TVs delivery technology, which has withstood tougher tests during March Madness, the NCAA Men’s basketball championship tournament. The fight’s pricetag -- $60 – also may reduce demand. It’s available to Sling TV subscribers at any tier.

But, the PPV play is a first and will potentially open up Sling TV to more opportunities down the road, which could be crucial to its growth. Sling TV is estimated to have about 1.7 million subscribers, far fewer than parent company Dish Network has lost over the past several years. In Q1 2015, the company had 13.84 million pay-TV subs. In Q1 2017, it was down to 12.17 million and roughly 1.36 million Sling TV subs.

Still, PPV on Sling could drive some additional viewers to sign up.

“Since we launched in 2015, we have focused on putting customers first, while pushing boundaries no other live OTT service has gone near,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV. “Integrating UFC 214 directly into the Sling TV experience is the next step in Sling TV becoming a true cable replacement.”

Sling TV has had a busy week. In addition to the PPV bout, it also has added EPIX Drive-In – a repository of classic films and documentaries – to Sling Orange and Sling Blue; introduced a EPIX – an add-on that costs $5 per month to customers who subscribe to a base service and includes movies and original series like “Graves,” “Berlin Station” and more; and added Reelz, available in Hollywood Extra for Sling Orange and Sling Blue customers, REELZ brings more movies, specials and shows like “The Kennedys” and Autopsy: The Last Hours Of” to Sling TV.

Sling TV currently is the biggest player in the virtual MVPD space, a space that still remains significantly behind the SVOD space in terms of popularity with consumers.  

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst and Strategic Media Consultant for Ooyala. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

READ THESE NEXT

PPV UFC 214 comes to Sling TV. Will it drive subscriptions?
Live sports, Operators, OTT, Cloud TV
PPV UFC 214 comes to Sling TV. Will it drive subscriptions?
Jul 26 2017 9:30 AM

Sling TV is planning to offer its first-ever pay-per-view (PPV) event, the much anticipated UFC grudge match that features a pair of light heavyweights. UFC 214: Cormier v. Jones 2 features current champ Daniel Cormier against ex-champ Jon Jones who last met in 2015 at UFC 182.

Live sports
Wimbledon 2027: how will fan engagement and marketing change?
Jul 20 2017 3:45 PM

This article originally appeared in The Drum.

Pay TV, Live sports, Millennials
A skinny bundle without sports? Duh
May 25 2017 10:30 AM

Skinny bundles from cable operators – and their OTT surrogates like Sling TV – are becoming more common as the companies try to look more attractive to consumers tired of paying for 200-plus channels when they really only watch a dozen or less. Survey after survey has shown that subscribers are hungry for not just a slimmed down offering but also for the subscription savings smaller bundles would engender.

Live sports, Live Streaming
PGATour optimized with Facebook Instant Articles
Feb 02 2017 1:15 PM
In the previous article, I discussed Facebook Instant Articles (FBIA) and how to leverage the benefits of Ooyala Player with FBIA. As users are shifting to mobile first, it is important more than ever to deliver a mobile optimized user experience. Check out how PGA Tour used FBIA and made decisions to deliver a mobile optimized experience to their fans.