(Props: MMA Scraps)
It’s kind of creepy to hear Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta say almost exactly the same thing when asked by Fox News how the economic meltdown will affect their business. It’s as if they’re reading off the same cue cards. Clearly, this is a conversation they’ve had before, and most likely pretty recently as they’ve tried to figure out whether a piss-poor economy means they should cash in their chips and start hording gasoline and ammunition in the Nevada desert somewhere.
When it comes to pay-per-view buys, their logic holds up. You get six or seven guys together to split the cost of a UFC pay-per-view and it’s cheaper than going to a movie. Live ticket sales might be another matter, but big shows like UFC 91 in Las Vegas will still sell out, especially when they can count on the casinos to snatch up the ridiculously-priced tickets at Octagon-side.
MMA Payout recently broke down Lorenzo Fertitta’s claim the UFC has seen a “double-digit increase” in pay-per-views buys this year. Turns out it’s true, but just barely. 10.8% growth is technically double-digits, even if most of it is a result of holding two pay-per-view events in the UK in 2008, as opposed to just one in 2007. Domestic pay-per-view growth was at a meager 3.3%, but that’s still not cause for panic.
As we’ve discussed before, for some reason pro fighting is one of the sports that typically does well during hard economic times. Ballet, on the other hand, straight up tanks when the going gets tough. That’s right. Fuck you, ballet.