Mayweather vs. McGregor Pirated Streams Reach Nearly 3 Million Viewers
Illegal streams of the anticipated event were advertised on e-commerce sites including Amazon, eBay and Alibaba, according to digital security company Irdeto.
The showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor in Las Vegas on Saturday night proved to be a hit via pay-per-view and theaters, however, many were able to get away with watching the fight for free, as some viewers looked to dodge the $20 theater tickets and $100 pay-per-view price.
An estimated 2.93 million people saw the 10-round boxing match on social media channels including Facebook, YouTube, Periscope and Twitch through 239 streams, according to digital platform security company Irdeto. Traditional pirate streaming sites were responsible for 67 of the streams, but most viewers seemed to watch on apps.
Periscope became a trending topic on social media, as many posted they were able to access streams on the app courtesy of "digital Robin Hoods" who shelled out money for the fight, then streamed it from their account to the masses.
Forty-two ads promoting the illegal streams were also found in just one day during the week of the event. The ads were found by Irdeto on e-commerce websites, including Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.
"Live sports are a cornerstone of global piracy, with thousands of sites providing illegal content attracting millions of viewers,” said Rory O’Connor, senior vp of cybersecurity services at Irdeto in a statement. “When combating live sports piracy, speed in disrupting piracy is essential... By identifying and stopping pirate streams in real-time through specialized knowledge and technology, content owners and operators are able to protect revenue and deliver a greater user experience.”