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Breaking Down UFC's PPV Business

Since its launch under Art Davies, Rorion Gracie and the Semaphore Entertainment Group, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has been a pay-per-view company. And through the Zuffa era of ownership, it has remained their most important and lucrative source of revenue. But as the UFC has been privately owned for the entirety of its history, very little outside some well educated guesses has ever been disclosed about their pay-per-view sales. This is no longer the case thanks to recent events.

Over the last few years, and even more so the last few weeks, a host of sources using internal Zuffa numbers have become available. This is mostly due to the 2016 sale of the promotion and the current antitrust lawsuit, which has resulted in once sealed information becoming public. For this article I make extensive use of a 2007 Deutsche Bank Memorandum that I managed to attain while previously working on the UFC’s finances, a 2016 Lender’s Presentation that was shared with me shortly after WME-IMG purchased the company, and a wide range of reports and exhibits from the Le et al v. Zuffa, LLC antitrust lawsuit. Unfortunately, most of these sources are limited to the time when the UFC was under the management of Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta (2001-2016) so more recent figures are not available to us.


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