Billed as the “biggest fight in history”, the Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was watched by millions of people around the world, but it seems that a lot watched it illegally.
Cybersecurity firm Irdeto, said that there with 239 illegal streams available and these streams were redistributed and watched by approximately 2,930,598 viewers.
67 of the streams were on traditional pirate stream sites whilst 165 were available on sites such as YouTube and Facebook. Six were available on Kodi via illicit plugins, something that authorities are trying hard to clamp down on.
The fight, won by Mayweather in the 10th round and although many purists turned their back on the fight, it was still popular with other fight fans, both those favouring traditional boxing and those favouring MMA. This led to millions searching for illegal streams.
“With both boxing and UFC fans eager to see this matchup, pirates capitalised on consumer demand to provide multiple illegal viewing options for this premier live sports event and reap the profit for themselves,” Irdeto said.
The company predicted the loss to be around US$300 million – based on US pay-per-view prices only – although global estimates could be four or five times that amount.
“This clearly points to how business savvy pirates have become, creating a formidable foe for legitimate service providers,” Irdeto said.
Legal action has already been triggered by Showtime Networks who owned the rights to the fight, which has been dubbed “ the most pirated event in history.”
Even before the fight started in August, Showtime filed a suit to stop more than 40 websites from airing unauthorised streams of the bout.