Starting at UFC 111 the company formed a partnership with Fathom Entertainment to test the water of showing Pay Per Views at the movie theater on the big screen. Call it a four event experiment to see how fans react to the whole look, feel and price.
The second event shown on the big screen was UFC 115 which was attended by MMA Valor at a local Theater. This was our first experience watching on the big screen and we went into the theater with only one hope, to see a good show.
The idea is great but with everything it’s not without its flaws, here is the rundown
The obvious is the big screen, because no matter how big of a TV you have this one is much bigger and your surround sound has nothing on them either. Throw in a packed house of cheering fans sitting in the stadium seating and there isn’t a bad seat in the house. It’s really almost like you are right there watching all the action live.
Since it’s in a theater, most places will not allow (outside) food or beverages in and none of them will allow alcohol so that’s no fun. If you wish to buy some food and a drink, be ready to drop some serious cash. Plus if spike is airing preliminary fights you better TiVo them or you are going to miss them.
Without a doubt the $20 dollar price tags is hard to swallow especially if you are going in a group. Just you and a one other, plus a drink is the whole cost of the PPV. Throw in some popcorn another friend and you have the PPV and a party at home covered.
Also if you are unlucky (like we were) and the theater isn’t full it really ruins the overall feel and ambiance of the experience.
The next UFC on the big screen will be UFC 118 and then there will be one more to complete the 4 events. Doing this for every PPV is going to be a tough sell to the general public, having them on the big screen for a special event or for a card that is stacked might be a better route. Lowering the price to $15 would also go a very long way to getting people to buy into this concept.
Only time will tell though, if this will be a long term thing or just a short lived experiment.