TV network Showtime has requested the Federal Court in California to issue a preliminary injunction targeting several websites expected to offer pirated streams of the fight. The fight is taking place this weekend. It is between the undefeated Floyd Mayweather and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and will be at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The estimated revenue is $1 billion, of which most will go to the fighters, but some to rightsholders such as Showtime. To stream the show online, it will cost between $89.95 and $99.99 (USD). The incredibly high revenue will only be reduced by piracy sites, which will allow people to stream for free. At an event with such high prices, just to watch, we may see a wave in people heading to illegitimate viewings.
In order to ease the erosion of revenue, Showtime took 44 sites, which were advertising the battle to court last week to stop pirate streams before they could begin. United States District Judge Andre Birotte J. approved the injunction and the 44 sites were ordered to be shut down pre-emptively.
However, questions have been raised as to whether this technique will prove to be successful, although the injunction is to stay in place two days after the event. The shutdown sites are linked to Live Stream HDQ and alleged operator ‘Kopa Mayweather’, which has been battled by Showtime before. When these similar cases were launched in 2015 for the Mayweather v. Pacquiao and Mayweather v. Berto fights, although the sites in question did not stream the fights, hundreds of other illegitimate sites took on that role instead.
I cannot see this being the end of piracy just yet.