The UFC's Fight Pass service, which has been maligned by fans as a waste of money, is now available in nearly every country around the world. The service intiially launched in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, but the expanded rollout has now arrived just prior to Saturday's Fight Pass exclusive card from the UK featuring Alexander Gustafsson taking on Jimi Manuwa.
The list of countries is, without a doubt, extensive. In addition to major markets like India, the UK, China, Japan, and Russia, Fight Pass is available in countries that aren't exactly UFC hotbeds like Vatican City, Chad, and Kiribati. In fact, the only countries I could find that weren't included in the press release were Iran and nearly all counties in the Caribbean, Central, and South America.
Fight Pass has been bashed and smashed since its inception as just another attempt for the UFC to drain money out of its paying customers, but its launch has gone much smoother than that of the near-universally lauded WWE Network. There was no crush of signups with Fight Pass compared to WWE Network. Technical difficulties have been slim and none for Fight Pass, while a new issue seemingly pops up every day with WWE Network. Yes, the WWE Network library is more vast than Fight Pass and has more connected devices, but what could are either of those things if your Xbox app doesn't have 3/4 of the available content?
I haven't checked event by event, but it looks like Fight Pass has finally added the full archive of UFC events through December's UFC on Fox event. That's a huge step in the right direction that will make Fight Pass worth your money going forward. The UFC is clearly going all-in on Fight Pass by hiring a broadcast crew strictly for European shows, most of which will air exclusively on the service. And really, the only way to improve Fight Pass in the future would be to add the full archive of both PRIDE and the WEC, which should be in the works.
Official subscription numbers haven't been released by the company, but the UFC claims that they've cleared their expectations by 300%, which would be a huge feather in the cap for their service. Adding compatability across the globe for people that might be interested in classic fights for people that live in territories that don't air the endless stream of UFC Unleashed/History of PRIDE shows is a nice way for the UFC to add even more money to their coffers and should compel them to continue improving Fight Pass in the future.