Dana White’s show “Lookin’ For A Fight” has been picked up by Netflix to be aired over their streaming service. So far there have been seven episodes and average over a million views per episode. “Lookin’ For A Fight” features UFC President Dana White and former UFC fighters Matt Serra and Din Thomas. The three travel the country to find future UFC fighters who White says, “can be a world champion.” Netflix reportedly has over eighty-six million subscribers world-wide with most living in the United States.
White and his friends also participate in events outside of looking for future fighters. They have gone, “riding rodeo bulls in Texas, camping in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and performing stand-up comedy in Hollywood.”
Netflix has ordered a total of sixteen episodes with eight taking place in America. White says that the eight international shows will feature places like Russia, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.
The fact that Netflix was willing to pay for the show to be on their streaming service is a good indicator of how far the UFC has come. Over a decade ago the company had to buy time on Spike TV for a reality show. Today, a YouTube web series that wasn’t picked up by television channels was just sold to the world’s largest streaming service.
There are multiple incentives to both parties. First, the UFC gets paid for content. Second, the UFC can reach an audience that they otherwise might not have. Netflix has total control over what programs are shown on the front page and have a habit of showing original content at the most prominent positions on their home page.
For Netflix the first big draw is the ability to draw in a dedicated fan base. Avid UFC fans are willing to pay nearly $600 a year on pay-per-view programming. “Looking For A Fight” also brings along an avid viewership that will follow the show and subscribe to Netflix. A similar move to look at is when Sirius signed Howard Stern to a big contract for exclusive broadcast rights. Sirius wasn’t necessarily adding Howard Stern. Sirius was adding the four million avid listeners that Stern has listening to his shows. The second advantage to Netflix is the added programming. Netflix’s relationships with movie and television studies have weakened. Studios are less willing to give Netflix content to stream given the viewing behaviors of Netflix subscribers. Netflix is desperate to keep content flowing through the site to maintain subscribers.
[h/t Bangor Daily News]