The Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Andre Berto fight may not end up being a memorable one, but the fight will mark at least one historic first for boxing. For the first time, the fight will be available to watch live online, as CBS — owners of the Showtime Network who control Mayweather’s broadcast rights for this one, final fight — will offer a pay-per-view live stream via the internet.
The catch, of course, is that the live online stream of the Mayweather vs. Berto fight will not be free, and in fact will not offer a substantial savings, or any savings at all, over purchasing the fight to view on conventional television via a cable or satellite service.
The price to watch the fight live online via the CBS site will be $64.95 — the same price as ordering the standard definition version of the televised fight broadcast. On conventional TV, the fight can also purchased in high-definition for an extra $10.
The streaming option for Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Andre Berto is “an attempt to reach out to cord-cutters who wouldn’t have been able to purchase the telecast without a cable provider and thus looked for outlets like Periscope,” according to Ian Casselberry, an editor at the Awful Announcing sports media news site.
Periscope is a software app that allows users to easily stream anything online simply by pointing a cell phone camera. While no specific numbers are available, exerts believe that thousands of Periscope streams of Mayweather’s previous fight, against Manny Pacquiao on May 2, could have cut into the pay-per-view revenues for that fight.
“Anytime a new form of technology impacts the delivery of content, it’s a problem,” Showtime Sports Executive Vice-President Stephen Espinoza told Sports Illustrated online. “The situation with Mayweather–Pacquiao was certainly not a positive one. There was a general atmosphere of lawlessness and piracy [with] Periscope for that event.”
While offering the Mayweather-Berto fight live online will not deter fans who simply want to watch the fight for free from seeking out Periscope and other pirated streams, “cord cutters” who don’t mind paying for TV on an a la carte basis via the internet, but don’t want to pay bloated monthly cable bills, are likely to find the CBS live stream an attractive option.
To purchase and watch the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Andre Berto fight live online, go to the CBS site at this link. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, 5 p.m. Pacific, with several undercard bouts. The Mayweather vs. Berto fight will likely begin approximately three hours later.
[Image: Ethan Miller / Getty Images]