Nearly 10 million people watched Saturday night’s fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, according to piracy-tracking firm MUSO.
That’s a truly heavyweight figure, and it appears that the vast majority of pirate viewers were based in the US and the UK. It’s perhaps easy to see why.
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BT Sport Box Office had the TV rights to Fury vs Wilder in the UK, meaning BT TV, Sky TV and Virgin Media customers would have to pay a hefty £19.95 to tune in. Across the pond, meanwhile, Showtime was broadcasting the fight on a pay-per-view basis for − deep breath − a whopping $74.99.
MUSO says a total of 9,982,144 people tuned in illegally − 1,908,592 of them were based in the US, while 1,094,315 were based in the UK − and that the fight was illegally available through 133 piracy streaming domains and 80 YouTube live links.
It isn’t clear how many people tuned in illegally, but we’ve asked BT for official viewing figures, and will update this article when the company responds.
“We saw a particularly high level of activity around the Tyson vs Wilder fight,” Andy Chatterley, the CEO and co-founder of MUSO, told Trusted Reviews. “A number of factors are likely to have contributed to this; not least being the level of hype preceding the fight − billed as the biggest fight to take place in the US since Mike Tyson fought Lennox Lewis in 2002.
“We also suspect that the expense of pay per view services will have put some fans off.
“And then there’s the AJ factor − we’d previously seen a lot of activity around the Anthony Joshua fight and he’s already been vocal on Twitter to express his eagerness to give one or the other ‘a fair one.’”
MUSO told Trusted Reviews that the most popular domains for users based in the UK, based on audience share, were:
- Ripple − 20%
- YouTube − 10.91%
- VIPleague − 9.09%
- Sportlemon − 7.27%
- Stream2watch − 7.27%
- VIPbox − 7.27%
- FirstRowSportes − 5.45%
- Myp2p − 5.45%
- Livestream − 3.64%
- Livetv − 1.82%
The five most popular domains overall, meanwhile, were:
- YouTube − 18.31%
- Ripple.is − 12.78%
- VIPleague.lc − 9.36%
- LiveTV.sx − 5.73%
- Stream2watch.live − 4.12%
Anti-piracy organisations have been extremely vocal about some of their recent efforts to combat illegal streaming, but the figures above suggest there’s a hell of a lot more work to be done.
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“Our MUSO Discover data shows that, globally, nearly 10 million viewers chose unlicensed channels to watch the bout,” Chatterley added.
“This is a huge audience that is, to all intents and purposes, being ignored. Data like this offers insights that could help bring fans back to legal content, but they need to be acknowledged first.”
Do you think the crackdown on piracy is working? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.