Dana White (Getty Images)
When the WWE announced its digital channel last month, almost all wrestling fans considered the $10-a-month service to be a great deal, since it includes all WWE pay-per-views, which are priced between $45-$55 a month.
Dana White, President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, thinks the deal is so good that it’s “ridiculous,” because it “devalues” the product.
Here’s White, in an interview with Fox Sports:
"It's ridiculous. I hate to sound like I'm attacking the WWE or devalue what they did because Vince McMahon, say whatever you want and he's always smashing us and talking s*** about us, but I will tell you this –- I was watching WWE I was a little kid and Vince was the commentator in WWE. This guy has been kicking ass, breaking rules and doing things that people said he couldn’t do over and over and over again. Now I'm older I don't get the whole thing, it doesn't work for me, but what he's able to do, the ratings he's able to pull and the things he's done and when I look at his model and he's basically taking everything in and devalued it. Saying everything we do is worth $10. That doesn't make sense to me."
Some might believe White’s criticism of the WWE stems from the fact that UFC itself announced a digital channel last month, and although it’s also $10 bucks a month, UFC’s digital package doesn’t include any of UFC’s pay-per-views, which cost $50.
White argues that WWE’s digital package coming off like a much better deal doesn’t really concern him, because he considers WWE and UFC to be separate products.
"I've always thought that we don't correlate with WWE. You're more inclined to be a boxing and UFC fan than a boxing, UFC and wrestling fan,” White said. “Because wrestling is fake, it's scripted, it's completely different.”
As I wrote last month, WWE is widely considered to have revolutionized the pay-per-view business model, and their digital channel signifies a shift in the company to move away from that business model. And though White himself admits to having grown up admiring WWE boss Vince McMahon’s visionary business sense -- McMahon took the WWE national when pro wrestling was a segregated, territorial business; he later pushed for the pay-per-view method when rival the NWA was still focused on putting all content on closed-circuit television or cable television -- he doesn’t seem to think the WWE's digital channel is a smart business move.
We shall see who’s right in this.
This is also sort of unrelated, but in another interview, White said boxer Floyd Mayweather would "get murdered" were he ever to switch over to the UFC.