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Amazon Picks a Fight With Cable Companies Over Plans to Sell UFC Pay-Per-Views

February 28, 2018, 4:35 PM UTC

Amazon’s not pulling any punches as it steps into the octagon.

The online retailer and (increasingly) video company has reportedly signed a deal with UFC to sell pay-per-view packages for upcoming fights, starting with this weekend’s UFC 222. And while that’s likely to be music to the ears of cord cutters, it’s a solid jab to cable and satellite companies, as well as other streaming services.

Rather than some other online services, which still require people to have a cable or satellite subscription to order a pay-per-view event, Amazon will offer the option to anyone willing to spend $64.99 for one night’s series of fights. This price is the same as what cable providers charge.

It’s the first time Amazon has offered a live sports pay-per-view event, but the company has increasingly been looking to lure sports fans to its platform. Last year, the company streamed Thursday Night Football games (paying a reported $50 million for the rights). Nearly 2 million people logged onto the site to watch the first game.

Other services, like Hulu, are also expanding into live sports. Hulu streamed the 2017 World Series, but ran into service issues when the stream crashed in the middle of game four.

Amazon has long competed with Netflix as a cable alternative, but by bringing pay-per-view options to its service, it could be targeting companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable as well.