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UFC 249 Draws More Than 700,000 Buys On ESPN+

“It says a lot about the starvation for live sports right now that people were willing to sign up for a $4.99 per month subscription to ESPN+ just to have the chance to pay $64.99 to watch UFC 249.”

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ESPN’s relationship with UFC is paying dividends in a time when the MMA promotion is one of the only games in town for sports fans. UFC 249 was staged in an empty arena over the weekend and streamed on ESPN+. According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, more than 700,000 people purchased the pay-per-view.

Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing looked at the audiences for past UFC pay-per-view events to put UFC 249’s success in perspective.

“A year ago, UFC 236 on ESPN+ reportedly couldn’t even crack a six figure buyrate. In January, UFC 246 was estimated to have drawn around a million buys by Disney’s Bob Iger (despite earlier reports stating it was around the “equivalent” of two million buys, whatever the hell that is supposed to mean). In 2018, the UFC’s final year on “traditional” pay per view, just two events drew even 400,000 buys – Conor McGregor’s loss to Khabib Nurmagamedov at UFC 229 (which drew a record 2.4 million buys) and Jon Jones’ second successful title defense against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 (700,000 buys). UFC 235 in March of last year, featuring Jones’ win over Anthony Smith, was the final PPV not available exclusively on ESPN+, and drew a reported 650,000 buys.”

It says a lot about the starvation for live sports right now that people were willing to sign up for a $4.99 per month subscription to ESPN+ just to have the chance to pay $64.99 to watch UFC 249.

The UFC isn’t done providing ESPN with content. This week, the promotion stays in Jacksonville, Florida where it will film events on both Wednesday and Saturday in front of no fans. The fights will be shown on ESPN and ESPN+.

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Barstool Sports Star Big Cat Launches Coffee Business

Barstool conducted a recent fan survey, and 80% of respondents said they drink coffee on a daily basis. Katz and the folks at Barstool listened, and so Stella Blue was born.

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A new direct-to-consumer product from the minds at Barstool Sports has hit store shelves – coffee. Stella Blue Coffee is a new brand launched by Pardon My Take co-host and Barstool Sports star Dan “Big Cat” Katz.

The name was inspired by Big Cat’s love of coffee and his love for his recue dog Stella.

Barstool conducted a recent fan survey, and 80% of respondents said they drink coffee on a daily basis. Katz and the folks at Barstool listened, and so Stella Blue was born.

The coffee will feature three different blends. Positive Vibes is the light roast, Big Cat Blend is the medium roast and Electric Avenue Dark Roast. The coffee is available in 12-ounce whole bean bags, 12-ounce ground bags and pods for Keurig lovers.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of the coffee will go to PAWS Chicago, the largest no-kill humane organization in Dan’s hometown.

Stella Blue is the latest Barstool-backed and created DTC product to hit store shelves. The company has a record of previous success launching other products including flavored vodka, beer and hard seltzers.

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Barstool Sports Raising Money In Memory of Murdered Virginia Football Players

Barstool created a design featuring the phrase C’ville Strong above the cross swords used in Virginia’s athletic logo. The design also features the initials and numbers for the three murdered players.

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Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has announced a fundraising campaign for the three Virginia football players murdered earlier this week.

In a tweet, Portnoy said 100% of proceeds from t-shirt sales will go to support the families of Lavel “Tyler” Davis Jr., Devin Chandler, and D’Sean Perry, who were all killed in an on-campus shooting earlier this week.

Two of the three football players killed were Barstool Athletes, a name, image, and likeness program started by the online outlet.

Barstool created a design featuring the phrase C’ville Strong above the cross swords used in Virginia’s athletic logo. The design also features the initials and numbers for the three murdered players.

Merchandise can be purchased here.

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Grant Wahl Details Run-In With Qatari Security At World Cup

“Picture is not allowed, sir,” the guard purportedly told Wahl. When he asked for clarification, the guard told him “Kindly delete it, sir”.

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CBS Sports soccer analyst Grant Wahl has detailed an issue he had with security as the 2022 World Cup prepares to take place in Qatar.

In an article posted on his Substack, Wahl claimed he took a picture of a sign in the media center that said “Now is All”. He shared after he took the photo, a security guard immediately walked over.

“Picture is not allowed, sir,” the guard purportedly told Wahl. When he asked for clarification, the guard told him “Kindly delete it, sir”.

The 2022 World Cup being held in Qatar has been viewed as controversial for a multitude of reasons, mostly centered around the country’s poor record on human rights. Other media members have shared their experiences with Qatari security, as a confrontation with a Danish television crew went viral earlier this week.

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