Despite not offering a live TV streaming service of its own (and apparently not planning to do so) Amazon continues to add features that make it worth considering as a viable replacement for a traditional cable subscription. In January, the company added search functionality to Fire TV devices that lets users search live content airing on the premium channels it offers. Now Amazon has begun selling UFC pay-per-view fights, as spotted by Recode.
Normally, to watch a UFC fight, you either need to buy the pay-per-view through a cable or satellite provider, or watch it on a network that shows these events, such as Fox’s FS1. Amazon is bucking that trend, as it quietly rolled out the pay-per-view for this weekend’s upcoming fight between Cris Cyborg and Invicta bantamweight champion Yana Kunitskaya. It’s not cheap at $65, but it still beats paying for the event and a monthly cable subscription or watching a bootleg stream on Twitch. Even better, you don’t even need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber to watch the fight.
This move makes sense, given Amazon’s recent focus on sports, as seen by its deal with the NFL to show Thursday Night Football. Still, this is the first time that the company has offered a pay-per-view event, and could be a sign of things to come when looking at Amazon’s video offerings. Amazon isn’t giving specifics about its deal with the UFC to show the fight, but terms are likely similar to those with cable providers.
Other live TV streaming services like Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue offer a user experience similar to cable, and even the more recent offerings from YouTube and Hulu are more traditional than Amazon’s. Originally, it seemed that Amazon might have had trouble keeping up, but this move shows that Amazon is instead moving closer to what many customers have been vocal about: the need for plenty of choice in their programming.
UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya airs live from Las Vegas on March 03 at 10:00 PM Eastern, and also includes Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega, Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath, Stefan Struve vs. Andrei Arlovski, and Cat Zingano vs. Ketlen Vieira. If you’re looking to watch via Amazon, the pay-per-view is up for sale right now.
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