Between “10 & 20 Million” Illegal Streams Contributed Greatly To Poor PPV Sales For Wilder-Fury 2

(Photo by JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Social media can be a wonderful tool when used the right way, but with great power comes great illegal activity. Wait, what?

The heavyweight championship fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder on Feb. 22nd was promoted like crazy and was expected to do crazy pay-per-view buy numbers.

Mike Coppinger reports that the fight did between 800-850,000 buys, which is 25 percent lower than the reported break-even mark of 1.2 million.

So, were people just not interested? No, that wasn’t the case at all as a bunch more people watched the fight, but did so by using an illegal stream, according to Yahoo Sports.

“The main culprit is theft of the signal. According to Wayne Lonstein of VFT Solutions, which tracks signal piracy, there were between 10 and 20 million live views of the fight on the major social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and there were nearly 10 million more that were viewed as video on demand. Many of those latter views were only slightly delayed.”

“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.”

Fury defeated Wilder with a 7th round TKO Saturday night in Las Vegas in the sold out MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Fury and Wilder were reportedly both guaranteed at least $25 million for the fight plus a cut of the PPV.