Report states almost 3 million saw Mayweather-McGregor fight for free

August 29, 2017

According to a report from a digital platform security company, almost 3 million people watched the Floyd Mayweather-Connor McGregor fight illegally.

Irdeto, a digital watchdog with global headquarters in the Netherlands but with U.S. offices noted that there were 239 illegal streams of the fight watched by approximately 2,930,598 people.  165 of those were made available through social media channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Periscope and Twitch.  67 were available through illegal streaming sites.  Kodi had six available as an add-on through the illegal streaming platform.

The report claims that due to clever marketing, consumers may have been fooled into choosing an illegal service over a legitimate service.  This is due to advertisements on e-commerce websites including Amazon.com, eBay and Alibaba.  However, a survey reflects that 52% of the consumers around the world knowingly watch pirated video content.

On Saturday, finding an illegal stream was easy.

Payout Perspective:

 While Showtime made proactive efforts to curb piracy, it could only do so much.  Notably, social media channels had the most available illegal streams which makes it hard for the IP holder to go after individuals that show the content for free.  The huge demand also made it a challenge to stop pirates.  But, with nearly 3 million watching the fight for free Showtime can feasibly say they have lost out on significant revenue.

First lawsuit due to Mayweather-McGregor streaming issues has been filed

August 28, 2017

A lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court of Oregon as a result of the streaming issues with the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight on Saturday night.

The lawsuit seeks class action status with the lead plaintiff being Zack Bartel who paid $99 to watch the fight via the Showtime App.  The Complaint includes multiple screenshots evidencing payment for the fight and the subsequent issues experienced by many due to what appears to be the high demand for the fight.  The screenshots include “grainy video, error screens, buffer events, and stalls instead” of the advertised HD at 1080p resolution.

The Complaint cites a violation of Oregon law of Unlawful Trade Practices citing that they are entitled to equitable relief and are “entitled to recover actual damages or $200 in statutory damages, whichever is greater, interest and fees and costs…”  They also cite Showtime for Unjust Enrichment in that Bartel and others paid $99 for live HD streaming services “that were never provided or received.”

The Hollywood Reporter has a copy of the Complaint.

Payout Perspective:

This is likely the first of many lawsuits to come due to the issues with the streaming services from Saturday night.  There has yet to be an organized resolution to the matter (i.e., will people be refunded for not being able to see the fight or seeing portions of it).  The lawsuit was filed due to the fact that there is the potential for attorney fees and costs as a prevailing party.  Showtime will need to figure out a legal strategy here as a lot of people will want to partake in this lawsuit.

Despite obtaining injunction, Showtime dealt with Periscope users for The Money Fight

August 28, 2017

While the Mayweather-McGregor fight trended on twitter this past weekend, so did Periscope as it became a hub of choice for people to watch the fight without paying.  Despite receiving a court order enjoining certain websites from showing the fight, the issue of individuals streaming the event is something that needs enforcement.

Showtime filed a preliminary injunction against a variety of web sites with domain names that essentially advertised that it would show the fight for free.  For example, Livestreamhdq.com, mayweathervsmcgregor.livestreamhdq.com, mcgregorvsmayweather.livestreamhdq.com, Mayweathermcgregorlivefight.us and Mayweathervsmcgregor2017live.us.  The companies with the web sites were sued for alleged copyright infringement, contributory copyright infringement and vicarious copyright infringement.  Despite receiving the signed order, it did not prevent individuals from finding individuals from streaming it live on Periscope.

TRO Order by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

The move is a sign of the need for intellectual property owners to be more proactive and vigilant in protecting its copyrighted material.  I recent wrote a law review article about the issues related to streaming.  The hard reality is that technology in the form of Facebook Live and Periscope are enabling individuals to take advantage.  While the preliminary injunction focused on the threats that Showtime could find, it cannot police individuals or those that decide to live stream at a moment’s notice.  It’s hard to catch everyone and this is something that will stifle rights holders like the UFC and Showtime in the future.

The Money Fight does not sell out, draws 14,623

August 27, 2017

The T-Mobile Arena did not sell out for The Money Fight as it was reported that 14,623 were in attendance for Mayweather-McGregor.  However, it may come close to beating the gate of $72 million set by Mayweather-Pacquiao.

The capacity at the venue is 20,000.  With astronomical ticket prices, most stayed away from attending and stuck to watching it on PPV.

According to Floyd Mayweather after the fight, the gate was $80 million although that has not been confirmed.

Payout Perspective:

The huge ticket prices were a deterrent for many to attend in person.  Despite pricing many out of attending, one has to think that it comes close to a $72 million gate.  It’s amazing that there is a market despite the negatives about the fight and the dud that was Mayweather-Pacquiao.

Mayweather-McGregor Prelims draw 3.22 million on Fox

August 27, 2017

The Mayweather-McGregor Prelims on Fox scored 3.22 million viewers on Fox Saturday night.  It won the overall ratings in its time slot per TV By Numbers.

The Prelims featured Yordenis Ugás and Thomas Dulorme.  Ugas defeated Dulorme via unanimous decision.

The prelims which aired from 5pm-7pm on Saturday night drew a 1.1 rating in the A18-49 demo and a 5 share making it the best overall in its time slot.  The 3.22 million viewers beat out the NFL Preaseason on NBC featuring the LA Chargers and LA Rams.

Payout Perspective:

UFC on Fox have not drawn over 3 million viewers since UFC on Fox 7 in 2013.  In recent memory, the highest-rated live boxing event on Fox was January 2016 when PBC on Fox 1 drew 2.24 million viewers.  PBC on NBC drew 4.8 million viewers for a Sunday afternoon 1 hour airing of a fight featuring Errol Spence.  The ratings for Saturday reflect a huge interest in the PPV which likely dead very well.

UFC Fight Pass has streaming issues for The Money Fight

August 26, 2017

The Money Fight may surpass the record for PPV buys Saturday night, but many fans that purchased the fight on UFC Fight Pass experienced technical difficulties.  As a result, Showtime released a statement that the main event would be delayed slightly.

Another tweet from UFC Fight Pass made it sound like that they would not be able to fix this issue any time soon.

For weeks the UFC has promoted the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather fight would stream over its digital platform, Fight Pass.  It had offered a hat if you had pre-purchased the PPV before tonight.  However, many fans that purchased the event found issues with their feed. The culprit appears to be the high demand.

Payout Perspective:

 

There were other outages through other platforms but focusing on UFC Fight Pass, this has to be the worst nightmare the company as it appears there will be a need to refund (not just credit) UFC accounts that purchased through Fight Pass.  Its unfortunate but if you are looking on the bright side, the technical difficulties are believed to be due to the heavy amount of people seeking to purchase the PPV.  The bad news, is that there appears to be a need to give out a refund.  This issue turns from tech to PR as the UFC will have to address this issue with its customers.  It will also need to look at building back trust in its platform later down the road.

 

Report: Mayweather $100M, McGregor $30M disclosed purses for The Money Fight

August 25, 2017

MMA Fighting reports the Nevada Athletic Commission has disclosed the fighter purses for The Money Fight and Conor McGregor will make $30 million and Floyd Mayweather will receive $100 million.

The purses exclude the ancillary revenue the fighters will make such as sponsorships and PPV upside.

The $30 million payday will be 10 times the amount of the highest pay he reportedly made in the UFC.  Mayweather may make an additional $20 million on fight night sponsorship deals alone.

Payout Perspective:

It’s a 70/30 split which I had believed would happen and still shows you that Mayweather is the “A” side.  There was no way that Conor and the UFC would have received a better deal than Pacquiao who received in the neighborhood of a 60-40 split.  Still, $30 million is a lot of money.  We will see once it all shakes out how much each (and of course the UFC) received from The Money Fight.

Report: Mayweather to make $20 million from clothing endorsements

August 25, 2017

Yahoo! Sports reports that Floyd Mayweather will make $20 million on just clothing endorsements alone when he steps into the ring against Conor McGregor Saturday.

According to the report, the side seams to his fight trunks go for $3.5 million for his side seams and front top waist, $ 1 million for his robe and $1 million for the hat he will win after the fight.  A 4-by-2-inch patch on his front thigh goes for $1.5 million.

According to a report for the UK’s Telegraph, they had more numbers for Mayweather.  His walk-out cap would be $500,000.  His boxing shoe:  $1 million and $1 million for his weigh-in trunks.  His rear top waist would cost $2 million, the rear center of his trunks would be $3 million and his rear thigh would be $1.5 million.

At the weigh ins, Floyd work tights with the sponsor PaddyPower on them.  It appears to be an offshore betting agency.  The scale at the weigh-ins was sponsored by Wish Shopping.

Payout Perspective:

We will see Saturday night how many sponsors signed on with Mayweather.  In previous fights, Floyd has not loaded up on sponsors, but when he does have sponsors, it appears that they pay a lot.  Hublot has signed on with the 49-0 champ again and explains why it has no problem sponsoring him.

50 million predicted to watch The Money Fight

August 25, 2017

50 million.  That is the number that the AP reports may watch the Floyd Mayweather Connor McGregor fight.

Similar to the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight, the fight at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday is being hailed as a culture event.  Former HBO exec in charge of PPV, Mark Taffet noted that it “crosses all demographics and all social and economic factors.”  Despite being just the second time that a PPV will be sold for $99.95 (HD), there is momentum saying that this fight will surpass the 4.4 million buys that the May 2015 showdown between Mayweather and Pacquiao.

This time around technological advancements may help with the buy rate, or at least the final revenue drawn from this spectacle.

Taffet noted that this fight will draw more people to come together to watch.  The average people that watch a PPV is usually 5-6 people whereas Taffet predicts that to be bumped up to 10 person per household.

Payout Perspective:

So is this a realistic number.  The report relies much on the fact that a ton of casual viewers will want to watch this fight.  Despite the caution by many experts that this will be a no-contest in favor of Floyd Mayweather, the run-up to this fight has been tremendous and its being written, talked about and seen everywhere.

Bennett explains the need for Zuffa to co-promote

August 24, 2017

Earlier this week Nevada Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett explained why Zuffa needed to apply to be a co-promoter for Saturday’s Mayweather-McGregor fight.  He also offered an unfulfilling explanation of a promoter in Nevada.

Bennett’s explanation as to why Zuffa need to be a co-promoter for Saturday’s event is that it needed to pay Conor McGregor.  It pointed to a Nevada Athletic Commission regulation NAC 467.112(2) which prohibits a promoter from paying an unarmed combatant.  Here, Floyd Mayweather as promoter could not pay Conor McGregor due to this rule.  As such, Zuffa had to apply for the license.

In the interview with MMA Fighting, Bennett noted that Zuffa’s license as promoter does not specifically identify it as a boxing license but merely as promoter.  The importance of this is that it may or may not preclude Zuffa from availing itself to the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act.

Payout Perspective:

The timing of the application, the last commission hearing before the fight, seems curious to me considering Zuffa could have applied for this from the outset.  Moreover, it appeared that Zuffa would allow Mayweather and Showtime as the fight’s producer and PPV distributor to take the driver’s seat while Zuffa would assist on its platforms.  This new explanation seems viable, while at the same time seems to be a safeguard against any withholding of money by Mayweather Promotions.  At one point, I had believed that McGregor had his own promotion company affixed to this event.  Now, it seems that Zuffa is the one representing the MMA side of this fight.  It does seem interesting that Zuffa need not indicate what type of promoter it is.  Whether or not it is inferred that it is promoting a boxing match and automatically avails itself to the Ali Act is a question that I would like to be answered.  If it’s a loophole to avoid dealing with the Ali Act, it might raise some eyebrows.

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