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Are you willing to pay for the WEC?

We’ve been talking about it nonstop on the podcasts, but I’ve just realized I haven’t mentioned it at all on the blog: the WEC has decided to make the jump to PPV during the very busy month of April, figuring a lineup with Faber vs Aldo, Cerrone vs Henderson, and Mike Brown vs Manny Gamburyan will be enough to convince people to shell out 45.95 for the event.

Yep, that’s right: the event will cost the exact same as a UFC pay per view. This has pissed off a lot of people across the net, but from a business perspective it makes a decent amount of sense. Here’s Zach Arnold’s pragmatic take:

If they charged $30 for the show, would they really entice more people to buy the show? It’s hard to believe that a drop off in price point would generate any more buys than will happen. Just like with WWE, if you want to pay to watch the show, you will pay to watch the show. If it was $70 or $80, OK, that’s one thing, but $50 right now seems to be the price point range for most PPV events. Let’s say you do drop the price point from $45 to $30 — that means you would need 3 people to buy the show at the lower price to match the 2 people you counted on to buy it at $45. Do you think that there would be enough fans to make up for the 50% slack to buy the show? Doubtful.

Of course, there’s something to be said for fostering goodwill amongst the hardcore fans you’re hoping will support your product. Let’s be honest here: while the WEC’s fighters are on the same level as the UFC’s, the WEC as a product does not have the same perceived value as the UFC is. While technically you might make more money off less people with the higher cost, you’re also driving away and pissing off a bunch of people who would have been willing to play along if they had been thrown a fricking bone.

Anyways, the good news here is that the WEC has moved onto it’s next stage in development, and that means they know it’s time to shit or get off the pot – succeed and grow on PPV or fail and be folded into the UFC or retooled in some other manner.