Just a punch in the face for their customers.
" the biz is very cash rich, and shouldn’t need the relative pittance such a mining operation would bring in compared to its subscription fees."
The belief that a 'fight' business based on maximising income in any way possible will not take advantage of another way to screw the punter perhaps suggests that the author had a very sheltered upbringing.
Everyone is thinking about this far too narrowly. What if we slightly altered the context of the situation, and instead surmised that UFC is actually a cyptocurrency mining operation, and what they are licensing is simply legitimate mining software? With the opportunity to pay to watch entertaining MMA matches on your device while it crunches numbers?
In this alternative narrative can we really say this is wrong.
Unless they ask permission first... it's wrong no matter how it's justified.
I can believe that the greed factor might be running amok.. a few dollars here, a few there, and with millions of users it soon adds up to a nice bonus for the board or maybe the infamous "shareholder value".