Boxing fans paid $100 to watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight on pay-per-view, but viewers were able to watch for free on Periscope and Meerkat, and that could spell trouble for the live streaming apps.
HBO and Showtime lost $100 for every person who watched the big Mayweather-Pacquiao fight for free on Periscope and Meerkat, and that’s not what keeps companies like these happy.
Shelly Palmer, media advisor to Viacom and Fox, told Bloomberg the live streaming of the Mayweather Pacquiao fight represented a challenge to the company’s copyright.
“I watched last night’s fight by just browsing through different Periscope streams. This kind of live-piracy is going to be hard if not impossible to regulate.”
The video quality of the big Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was poor and unreliable, but it saved some viewers the hefty $100 fee.
Before the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, HBO and Showtime sued to keep some websites from illegally streaming the fight, but after the action started, Periscope and Meerkat users started streaming the fight from their TV, according to the USA Today.
At least one person streamed the fight from their expensive ringside seat, according to the Verge.
Internet users were also searching YouTube for fight highlights almost as soon as they happened, according to the Inquisitr.
Periscope and Meerkat audiences ranged from dozens to thousands of viewers, and that’s all money in the wrong pocket.
HBO and Showtime asked executives at Periscope and Meerkat to take down streams of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, but that didn’t seem to stop the streaming, according to Bloomberg Business.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and early investor Chris Sacca even declared @PeriscopeCo to be the night’s big winner by knockout.
Despite the best efforts by HBO and Showtime executives, this kind of illegal streaming seems to be growing more popular.
HBO has already had to ask Periscope to take down illegal streams of its Game of Thrones show.
Traditionally, television and movie studios haven’t looked kindly on this kind of piracy.
The music industry exploded in anger and punitive lawsuits after Napster enabled users to share music files with each other for free, and television studios sue to protect their content from web pirates everyday.
At least one expert is already questioning the future of Periscope and Meerkat live streaming services in the face of such piracy.
Former television journalist Matt Smith tweeted out his doubts about the ability of the live streaming apps to remain in business if the digital piracy continues, according to the USA Today.
Representatives from HBO and Showtime have so far declined to comment on the situation.