This weekend’s Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight might be the sport’s biggest draw in years, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars for the networks and promoters alike. The two cable giants airing the bout, HBO and Showtime, are certainly looking to squeeze every penny they can from it. Their biggest threat? Pirating.
Deadline reports that the two premium television behemoths aren’t playing any games when it comes to sites stealing their content and showing it for free:
Just days before the big fight, the premium cablers are getting in the legal ring to TKO piracy of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr’s highly anticipated and lucrative matchup. HBO and Showtime today jointly filed a copyright infringement compliant against boxinghd.net, sportship.org and a number of John Does for offering free streaming of the PPV May 2 boxing extravaganza.
Of course, HBO and Showtime aren’t the only ones standing to lose big money from pirating sites. Mayweather Promotions LLC and Top Rank Inc. are also looking to get involved in the complaint as well:
In addition to unspecified damages, the cablers, along with fellow plaintiffs Mayweather Promotions LLC and promoters Top Rank Inc., want a triple punch of “a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and permanent injunction” shutting down the sites directly and on Internet servers for the duration of the fight, at the very least. Teaming up for the PPV-price-busting $89-$100 this weekend, HBO and Showtime look to clean up with the marquee names slugging off against each other – but not so much if fans can find it for free.
Using pirated content is certainly a sticky subject for many consumers. Paying $100 for a fight as opposed to getting it for free illegally might be too great a lure for some fans to overcome. It’s a cat and mouse game between content providers and pirating sites, one that will sure to continue even after the May 2nd bout.