I enjoy watching the occasional Ultimate Fighting Championship fight. Who doesn’t? I think the UFC has a big future, both financially, and from a sporting perspective. The current UFC owners (along with President, Dana White) have done much to legitimize the sport and to bring it into the mainstream (i.e. gloves, no biting).
I try and watch as much as I can on SpikeTV. They offer the occasional “fight night” and episodes of the popular UFC reality show, “the ultimate fighter.” SpikeTV comes with my digital cable package, so I consider these viewings free. However, the big UFC fight cards are always on pay-per-view (ppv), for $39.95 an event. Usually, these are held on a Saturday night, once every three weeks or so.
In the past, to avoid paying the $39.95 ppv fee to watch this on my home tv, I’d go to Hooters (a nice family restaurant) and watch it for “free”. But was it really free? Is it better to watch it at Hooters or watch it at home? I did a quick, simple, “three-round” analysis to help answer this question.
First, I put together an analysis of my previous bank or credit card charges at Hooters to come up with an average cost per event:
- 8/26/06 – Liddell vs. Sobral – $71.73
- 10/14/06 – Silva vs. Franklin – $12.72
- 11/18/06 – St. Pierre vs. Hughes – $16.72
- 3/16/07 – NCAA Round 1 – $20.28
Average Hooters Bill = $30.36*
*I know there were a few more times I went and used cash, but I think the analysis is fair. Obviously, there are times when my wife was there too, and thus the bill is higher (like the 8/26 fight). So there you have it: Hooters – $30.36 vs. PPV – $39.95. Round 1 goes to Hooters.
There’s hardly a time when I go watch the fight by myself or just with my wife. In most instances, I’m meeting a friend there, or a friend and his wife. So, for this comparison, let’s assume another couple is with us, and this couple is willing to come to our house to watch the fight.
- PPV $39.95/2 Wallets = $19.97
- Est Cost of Take Out Food or Snacks at Home $30.00/2 Wallets = $15.00
- Est At Home PPV Costs = $34.97
- Hooters – $30.36 vs. PPV (with another couple) – $34.97 Difference of $4.61.
Round 2 goes to Hooters. Looks like it’s still cheaper to head out the door and fight the crowds.
Don’t forget the intangibles! To be fair, there are other factors, besides costs, that must be factored in:
- The Noise Factor – Hooters is too loud. You can’t hear the commentary. If at home, I could control the sound.
- The Seat Factor – At Hooters you have to get there really early to get a seat. At home I could literally sit down and turn it on when the bell rings.
- The DVR Factor – Pause/Play – I could watch those knockout blows over and over again at the push of a button.
- The Shorts Factor – At Hooters you have to look at those tacky shorts (wait, is that a negative?).
Hooters – $30.36 vs. PPV (with another couple) – $34.97 (less intangibles) Round 3 goes to PPV. Those intangibles are easily worth $4.61.
Final “Split” Decision
If we’re with friends, opt for the PPV because of the comparable cost and the intangibles. If only with the wife, head out early to Hooters and watch for “free!”