The promoters behind Mayweather vs. McGregor sure were hungry to break a lot of records like biggest gate and most pay-per-views sold. But we bet they’re not too happy about this big number: Variety reports that content-security vendor Irdeto tracked almost 3 million people pirating the boxing superfight across 239 sources including major sites like Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, and Twitch.
Periscope seems to have been a favorite destination, with the live video streaming site trending on Twitter during the event and collapsing under the weight of traffic being drawn from pirates. A single Periscope feed of the fight reportedly had 300,000 viewers before it was taken down.
Another piracy-tracking firm called Tecxipio also noted that 445,000 people downloaded the fight through torrents in the immediate aftermath of the fight. We can only imagine how many have downloaded it by now.
But we can’t fully blame everyone who went for an illegal source for the fight … demand for Mayweather vs. McGregor was so high it was impossible for some to buy the fight through cable and internet providers. The UFC’s own Fight Pass service choked horribly on Fight Night, and there’s talk of a class action lawsuit if the UFC and their streaming partners at NeuLion don’t start issuing refunds soon.
Don’t worry too much about Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, though. Trending info on PPV numbers are already looking good, and Mayweather himself went ahead and declared the fight a bigger success than his previous record setting fight against Manny Pacquiao. So they’ll still pocket hundreds of millions of dollars despite the massive spike in piracy surrounding the event.