On Dec. 28, the UFC announced it would be launching a service for the ultimate fight fan to view each and every bout in the promotion’s 20-year history. At the time, fans went nuts over the announcement, the possibility of being able to watch classic moments with one click and also having access to events exclusive to Fight Pass.

Then the WWE Network was born.

In front of a live audience on Wednesday, WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, alongside daughter, Stephanie, and wrestlers Triple H, Shawn Michaels, John Cena and Steve Austin, informed wrestling fans around the world of a groundbreaking move. Fans have been expecting the company to create its own network for quite sometime, but jaws instantly dropped at the value of the WWE Network.

As promised, the network will be 24/7 with original shows such as The Monday Night War, WrestleMania Rewind, WWE Countdown, WWE Superstars, NXT, pre- and post-event coverage, documentaries and re-airings of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown. But that’s not all, folks.

Similar to how UFC Fight Pass offers fans the ability to watch not just past UFC fights, but also ones from Strikeforce, Pride, World Extreme Cagefighting, Affliction, WFA and EliteXC, the WWE has taken things to another level. With a larger history than the UFC, the WWE Network will allow fans to relive every WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view, along with classic matches uncut and uncensored, plus encores of shows you may have missed.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you to pay $9.99 a month, this next item will change your mind.

If you purchase UFC Fight Pass, you still have to pay $45 or $55 to watch pay-per-views throughout the year. But with WWE Network, it’s included in the package to watch each monthly pay-view-view show. So, if you plan on buying each of WWE’s 12 pay-per-view events throughout the year, the cost would be around $600. But with WWE Network, your total will be just $120.

Plenty of people will be begging WWE to take their money after hearing that deal. The network will open on Feb. 24 and be available on WWE.com, the WWE App on Amazon, Android, iOS and Roku devices. In addition, the offering is available on Playstation 3, Playstation 4 and Xbox 360, with future availability on Xbox One and Smart TVs planned for the summer.

So what exactly am I getting at? The bottom line is the WWE has taken digital programming to another level. If I’m an UFC official, I would look at this platform the WWE has built and realize that the Fight Pass offering needs to give UFC fans the same benefits they get on WWE Network. The UFC may never surpass WWE in terms of presentation standards, but if the promotion is vying to win over fans who follow both wrestling and MMA but can only afford one monthly package, the clear choice is going to be the WWE Network.

I was a wrestling fan before I found mixed martial arts, and I would consider myself a casual WWE fan at best currently. Fight Pass is great to go back and watch bouts from the Pride days or early Strikeforce, but if I have to pay $10 bucks a month for only one of them, sign me up for the WWE Network. The difference in value it offers is just too much to pass up.

What steps can the UFC take to make Fight Pass bigger and better? The organization could offer Fight Pass on every device/system that consumers use. It could create original programs and broadcast exclusive content on it (which it will to some extent), but that won’t even make a dent in what the WWE offers. As for pay-per-views, the UFC can’t afford to include those in the package, so it’s unknown what else can be added to the digital network to make fans continue to subscribe.

The WWE has topped the digital network industry with the release of the WWE Network. The question now remains for us fight fans, will the UFC have an answer?

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.

  • John Schaeffer

    UFC is too greedy, FIght Pass at $10 will never include PPV’s… They may add a PPV options at $25 or so a month.

    WWE Network literally is the reason I am watching wrestling again lol. I stopped watching UFC recently too, due to working saturday nights, not having cable to order replays, and replays being expensive in the first place.

    • Manny4Mayor

      The UFC makes the vast majority of their money from PPVs. The WWE makes the vast majority of their money from house shows. Completely different business models.