Conor McGregor wasn’t the only one who suffered defeat on Saturday’s boxing fight. Pay-per-view also lost millions to free live-streaming apps.
In a report, it stated that three million watched the game for free using live streaming services. Showtime was one the companies that showed the fight on its TV channel and PPV site for $99. But it hasn’t released its audience numbers for the fight yet.
The free live streaming was simple. A person simply has to hold a smartphone in front of his TV screen and share the paid event live on his Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other social media accounts.
Promoters of PPV faced increasing threats to their business model that involved attracting users to pay up for a must-see event. PPV has been the domain of satellite operators.
It’s used for popular sporting events. But with the birth of streaming apps and on-demand video rentals, PPV has become an option for significant events.
Last Saturday’s event was big that it attracted not just fans but also free loaders. According to some analysts, the Mayweather-McGregor match was the largest event they’ve seen appearing for free online.
The majority of free loaders tuned in on Facebook. Others used YouTube and Periscope apps.
Besides watching it for free, these people didn’t have a hard time watching it because they only had to make a few clicks to enjoy instant viewing.
Periscope was trending on social media. But the topic most talked about the free streams of the said fight.
Twitter has a strict copyright policy. The company will terminate accounts caught to be violating it.
However, Twitter didn’t say whether or not it did suspend or terminate those accounts that shared the event illegally.
The burden will be on Showtime and other PPV promoters. They can complain to those platforms if they found out that many users uploaded copyrighted streams.
In the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, apps and websites should take down illegal content once the copyright holder would make a complaint.
Facebook posed a significant threat to PPV promoters because of its two billion users. On Saturday, it caught around 239 illegal streams.
But there are still many streams that should be removed. Unfortunately, it’s not easy for Facebook to remove them quickly.
But are live video apps a threat to PPV promoters? Should they just give up?
Experts said that PPV would be around for many years to come. However, they must improve their methods of protecting their content.
For example, they could use watermarking to identify the source of the illegal stream. From there, they could convince the social media platforms not to show such content from their networks.
Showtime has another issue to resolve. Besides losing to free live streaming apps, it has to deal with its angry customers who are now demanding refunds for the PPV broadcast. There was a delay in broadcasting the event because of technical issues.
In fact, a man in Portland, Oregon filed a lawsuit against the company because of the broadcast’s poor quality.