One of the arguments “in favor” of illegal UFC streaming just became a little bit harder to defend. The company signed a deal with China’s sohu.com to broadcast events online there. The first event to be streamed will be UFC 109: Relentless, headlined by Randy Couture v. Mark Coleman. No prices were announced.
The deal makes UFC available online in China legally for the first time. It’s interesting to note that many illegal peer-to-peer streams originate from China. How this will affect your next Sopcast session remains to be seen.
UFC President Dana White, who recently said that the company would spend any amount of money to combat illegal streams, said the deal would bring the company closer to its goal of becoming the most popular sport in the world. (Note: Good luck trying to overtake soccer.) He also put over China, calling it the birthplace of many of the martial arts used in the UFC.
Online piracy of sporting events, including UFC, is sorta tricky. In some cases, the sport simply isn’t available in the local market, so if you want to watch, you have to view a stream. There’s no moral eqivocation here: you want to watch the event, but you couldn’t pay for it even if you wanted to. So, stream that bad boy. This isn’t the case here in the U.S., of course, because not only can you watch UFC on regular pay-per-view, you can, in fact, watch legal streams.
If you want to argue that UFC pay-per-views cost too much money, be my guest, but you should know that UFC live events are expensive to attend, too. Nose-bleed seats for the upcoming UFC 111 event in New Jersey cost $53.