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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Mayweather/McGregor Pirated Upwards 100 Million Viewers

Author Topic: Mayweather/McGregor Pirated Upwards 100 Million Viewers
Mike Peterson
Film Handler

Posts: 10
From: Beacon Falls, CT , USA
Registered: Nov 2006

 - posted 08-29-2017 11:46 AM      Profile for Mike Peterson   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Peterson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hopefully the studios will realize day and date model will not work. I know this is technically apples and oranges, but it's still in the pirated streaming genre.

LAS VEGAS — Up to 100 million people illegally viewed Floyd Mayweather’s 10th round knockout of UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor on Saturday, potentially making ‘The Money Fight’ the most pirated event in history.

Pay-per-view numbers will come in later this week or early next week. UFC president Dana White said he is optimistic it will break the record sales number of 4.6 million set in 2015 by the Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout. Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe was likewise enthusiastic.

“We’re extremely excited by the preliminary information that we’ve received thus far and it’s tracking really well,” Ellerbe said. “We’re feeling good about everything and we believe we did a fantastic number.”

But regardless of how big the number may be, it’s going to be dwarfed by the number of pirated views of the event. Wayne Lonstein, the CEO of VFT Solutions, said early numbers indicate there were up to 100 million viewers of illegal streams.

VFT provides content protection, IP litigation and cybersecurity and technology services to clients. Lonstein said what he calls “nano-piracy” is costing companies and artists, athletes and others who sell content significant amounts of money.

“Nano-piracy is using or taking either live or recorded proprietary content and capturing it using a connected device, like a phone, a tablet or a computer, and then using a live stream app such as Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Periscope and a number of other ones, to stream either peer-to-peer, one-to-one, or peer to millions,” Lonstein said.

The bout, which had a suggested retail price of $89.95 and then an additional $10 for high definition, was freely available all over Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Irdeto, a digital platform security company, discovered 239 streams that reached 2,930,598 viewers.

It provided Yahoo Sports with two screen shots of the fight being streamed on Facebook Live. One showed 472,000 viewers watching a pirated stream, while the other had 234,000 viewers.

Just the viewership from those two streams alone could cost the event more than $70.6 million.

“We have identified streams and viewers in every corner of the globe,” Lonstein told Yahoo Sports. “What happened is, you take one click and you can stream it to your TV, but it immediately goes out and it’s tethered to social media so all of your followers immediately get a notice that you’re streaming. They don’t even have to look for it. That’s why it becomes viral and that’s why it’s so effective because it’s at what you could call a cellular or nuclear level.

“That’s how it spreads. This is the new reality. People are consuming [pirated content] at a level that is unstoppable at this point.”

Lucas Catranis, Irdeto’s director of piracy and cybercrime management, compared the Mayweather-McGregor bout to the pirated streams from the April 29 heavyweight title bout in London between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko.

That bout had 19 pirated streams that totaled nearly 208,000 views.

Further complicating the problem was the fact that there were difficulties for people who were trying to order the fight. Showtime said servers went down in California and Florida that were handling purchases, and it delayed the start of the fight by about 20 minutes to allow the problem to be solved., which also offered the fight, crashed as well. It is run by NeuLion, which failed to return messages about the issues it had on Saturday.

In a Friday story on, Chris Wagner, a NeuLion executive vice president said, “It’s very different than streaming movies, that’s for sure. The big [factor] is that everybody shows up at the same time.”

Wagner told Forbes that it scaled up to triple redundancy and added support assistance. Still, it crashed and left many viewers unable to see the fight.

“I’d be interested to see what the impact of the outages were from the UFC streaming side in terms of the piracy,” Catranis told Yahoo Sports.

It’s a problem at a massive level. Since Lonstein began tracking it, the amount of views of pirated streams of sports events, concerts and movies is almost hard to imagine.

“The total amount since we built our software in 2016 to quantify nano-piracy of only stuff that we were sampling, proprietary content, is as of this moment 3.427 billion viewers on 200,000 streams,” he said.

So when the pay-per-view numbers come out later in the week, think for a moment about how much bigger it could have been without the theft.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10702
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 08-29-2017 12:28 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was hanging out at my favorite local pub with a few friends Saturday night -not really expecting to watch this over-hyped fight. One of my friends had an iPad, which he attached to one of the bar's TV sets to play the event (via a lightning to HDMI connector that cost him $50). He legally ordered the fight via UFC's streaming service. This quiet tavern wasn't going to shell out thousands of dollars to play it via the local cable TV service.

The main event fight was delayed a couple hours because of the server crash issues. only recovered as the main event was getting underway.

There is no doubt a lot of people were pushed to illegal streams of the fight due to the pooch-screw going on with the UFC/NeuLion servers. The friend with the iPad tried playing a few of the pirated streams while was down. They all had various problems, like shitty quality video and no audio at all.

I was making jokes (and showing my age) about how major fights used to be shown on free, over the air national TV networks before moving to premium cable channels in the 1980's. The pay per view, price gouging thing really took off in the 1990's. At least this fight was more entertaining than the Mayweather-Paquiao dance.

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1974
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011

 - posted 08-29-2017 12:43 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Showing it in a bar when it was ordered as a home viewing thing could get that bar sued. It's the same thing as showing a home viewing dvd in a theatre without paying the license fee to the distributor.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2610
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012

 - posted 08-29-2017 06:15 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Over here, the same fight was broadcast live on "Fox Sports", which is part of many premium cable subscription packages or pretty much a staple in any sports TV subscription package you can get. Nowadays, value is simply based on what the market can bear without immediately breaking...

The irony here is that those pirates got to see the fight for free, while many of those paying customers dropped up to $100 and didn't get to see anything.

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