In advance of the Whyte vs. Chisora heavyweight boxing re-match scheduled for PPV broadcast on December 22nd, Kieron Sharp, CEO of UK intellectual property protection organisation Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) has issued a reminder about the dangers of streaming it through anything less than official channels.
“If you are watching it through anything other than official paid for channels, you are breaking the law,” he declared. “We shouldn’t forget that people across the country have been subject to legal action and been required to pay thousands in legal costs. It’s simply not worth the risk.”
Mr Justice Arnold, on September 20th, awarded rights-holder Matchroom Sport Limited and Matchroom Boxing Limited a blocking order that will require UK Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block, in real time, servers that are hosting illegal live streams of its boxing events. Official streams of the events are aired exclusively on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland.
The Order will be in place for an initial period of two years. “This blocking order is a game-changer in our efforts to tackle piracy of our PPV and non-PPV boxing events,” declared Steve Dawson, Group CEO Matchroom Sport. “It will allow us to quickly and effectively block and disrupt illegal broadcasts of our shows. The protection of the copyright in broadcasts of our events is hugely important to us and we are pleased that the Court has recognised this with the granting of this blocking Order.”
There were a number of illegal streams of the Joshua vs. Klitschko fight (April 2017) on Facebook with hundreds of thousands of viewers, including one which reached over 597,000 viewers, with the person who facilitated the stream being responsible for thousands of pounds in legal fees.