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Over 20 million streamed Fury-Wilder illegally?

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Over 20 million streamed Fury-Wilder illegally?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Over 20 million streamed Fury-Wilder illegally?

Tyson Fury’s Saturday night Heavyweight title win over Deontay Wilder was the most-watched heavyweight boxing pay-per-view in almost 20 years. However, a report Thursday afternoon says an astounding number of more people watched the fight it illegally online.

Yahoo Sports boxing columnist/reporter, Kevin Iole, wrote Thursday that, despite over 800,000 legal pay per view purchases in the U.S., tens of millions of people streamed the signal of the fight illegally on Saturday night:

This is according to information from VFT Solutions, which tracks signal piracy. According to Wayne Lonstein of VFT, there were between 10 and 20 million live views of the fight on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Lonstein further confirmed there were another 10 million or more views for video on demand through various pirate websites around the world.

As Iole wrote,

“Lonstein said a sporting event such as boxing matches are ripe for theft because they can end quickly and even if rights holders manage to get the illegal streams taken down within 10 or 15 minutes, that’s several rounds of a fight. In the case of the Fury-Wilder rematch, there was only 19:39 minutes of fight action. If you add the minute between rounds, that figure increased to 25:39 of total airtime.”

Lonstein told Yahoo Sports about trying to lessen the piracy in the future,

“You’ve heard people for years saying boxing is dead, but if you really look at this and do an analysis, people are hungry for the content,” Lonstein said. “The product is becoming compelling and there is interest in it, no question. There is an astounding opportunity [to convert some of those signal thieves into buyers], but it’s a major issue and it’s just getting bigger.” 

Hear more of the discussion about Fury’s win, Wilder’s desire for a rematch, etc. on our Big Fight Weekend Podcast here:

Fury upset Wilder with a 7th round TKO Saturday night in Las Vegas in the sold out MGM Grand Garden Arena. The 800,000+ legal PPV buys represented over $80 million in revenue for Premier Boxing Champions and Top Rank Boxing, the promoters of the fighters.

However, as we wrote earlier on Thursday, that was below the bold expectations of  Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who continued to predict that 1.5 million or more would legally buy the fight in the USA.

And, while three times as many people legally purchased the second fight for Tyson Fury on pay-per-view for an astounding $79.95 in the U.S., it has to be disheartening for all involved. This is especially because that many fights fans, not just in America but around the globe, weren’t paying to watch.

But, one more thing: if in fact 20 million or more were watching the fight illegally online, etc., then so much for the “Boxing is dead” argument.

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A veteran broadcaster of over 25 years, T.J. has been a fight fan longer than that! He’s the host of the “Big Fight Weekend” podcast and will go “toe to toe” with anyone who thinks that Marvin Hagler beat Sugar Ray Leonard or that Tyson, Lennox Lewis or Deontay Wilder could have beaten Ali!

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