Pay per view boxing returns on August 22nd, with Dillian Whyte facing Alexander Povetkin and Katie Taylor rematching Delfine Persoon.
Boxing fans are being warned by FACT that “the game is up” when it comes to illegal streaming. More and more effective action is being taken to shut down illegal streams, and enforcement and legal action is increasingly being taken against those providing access, says the intellectual property protection organisation.
Stats from the last pay per view fight (Joshua v Ruiz Jr 2) on Sky Sports Box Office show that more than 30,000 illegal streams were removed from social media platforms – with most coming down before the fight even got going. The vast majority were from Facebook, but other platforms include YouTube, Periscope and Twitch (owned by Premier League rights holder Amazon). Those 30,000 streams have more than 500,000 people watching – half a million people who then missed the action as streams came down.
There’s also been a concerted effort in recent months to crack down on the sources of those streams, with warrants being executed, arrests taking place up and down the country and prison sentences being handed down. In June Daniel Aimson was sentenced to a year in prison for running an illegal streaming operation. He was followed by Mark Schofield, who received a 2-year suspended sentence for similar offences. Raids have taken place across June and July in Suffolk, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and more, with Police forces shutting down numerous illegal streaming services as part of a crackdown in this illegal activity.
FACT CEO Kieron Sharp commented: “The message is very clear: the only legal way of watching these fights is through the official provider. If you are watching these boxing matches by any other means; via a stream on social media or a pirate site this is illegal. We encourage people to watch only via the official provider as not only does this guarantee legal and the best quality viewing, it guarantees that you’re not putting yourself at risk.”