This past Saturday Night, it was Floyd Mayweather who walked away with a tenth round TKO victory over UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor in “The Money Fight.”
While the fight was a big seller on pay-per-view and streaming services like UFC Fight Pass, it was also watched illegally through live streams and then illegal downloads after the fight.
According to a report from Variety, well over 3 million people either watched the fight through an illegal live stream or downloaded the fight illegally after the fight was over.
The Aug. 26 match from Las Vegas yielded 239 illegal live-streamed rebroadcasts online, reaching an estimated 2.93 million viewers worldwide, according to content-security vendor Irdeto. Of those, 67 were hosted on well-known piracy streaming websites. Pirates also used services including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter’s Periscope, Amazon-owned Twitch and media-player platform Kodi to illegally redistribute the highly anticipated event, according to Irdeto. In addition to the live-streaming piracy, an estimated 445,000 internet users downloaded video of the fight after it concluded Saturday, including 78,000 in the U.S. and 49,000 in the U.K. and Ireland, according to piracy-tracking firm Tecxipio.
The show did great business on pay-per-view and on legal streaming services like UFC Fight Pass, but obviously a lot of big business was missed through illegal streaming and downloading. For example, at a price point of $100 for the HD version of the pay-per-view, the promoters lost on out an additional $300,000,000 in pay-per-view purchases. That’s is assuming of course that everybody who watched or downloaded the fight illegally would have ordered the pay-per-view.