LLC, owned by brothers Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta III, is
the world's largest provider of pay-per-view content today. The
company owns and operates the
Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world's top professional
mixed martial arts organization.The UFC has been among
several pay-per-view providers to crack down hard on internet video
uploads in recent years. With fights finding their way onto
YouTube and other video sharing sites, the UFC has tried a variety of
approaches to cut off the flow of its performances onto the
internet.On Monday, the UFC announced that
it has subpoenaed Justin.tv and Ustream.tv -- two major live video
stream sites. The UFC's owners claim that the sites' users
purchased pay-per-view buys and then rebroadcast them on the web for
all to see.According the UFC a single IP address uploaded
streams from UFC 108 and UFC 110, held this year. These streams
respectively drew 36,000 and 78,000 non-paying viewers.Under
Millennium Copyright Act, content owners can use subpoenas to
force service providers to reveal the identities of individuals who
upload infringed content. The UFC already
announced reaching "confidential settlements" with
500 people and businesses for illegal broadcasts and viewing.UFC
President Dana White states, "I can't wait to go after the
thieves that are stealing our content. This is a fight we will
not lose."He hopes that the U.S. Congress adopts
sweeping provisions of upcoming ACTA pact, which could send
those uploading copyrighted materials to prison. He states,
"When people start going to jail, people will stop doing
it."The UFC is a popular piracy target due to the high
cost of its PPV buys. The company airs approximately twelve PPV
events annually and sells them for $44.95 each, or $55.95 for an HD
version. In 2009 the UFC is estimated to have sucked in $350M
USD in PPV revenue. However, at January's UFC 106, alone, it
estimates that there were 140,000 non-paying viewers of 271 illegal
streams, amounting to approximately $6.3M USD in lost revenue.One
driving force behind the UFC's piracy crackdown is also growing
competition from smaller competitive leagues like Strikeforce.
Strikeforce has put on a number of recent highly successful events
including a recent shocking
upset of Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko by Brazil's
Fabricio Werdum and a massive
knockout by female bantamweight champ, Canada's Sarah
Kauffman, over Roxanne Modafferi. Unlike the UFC, Strikeforce
generally televises its main card on cable television thanks to deals
with CBS, Showtime, and others.
quote: He is not your average CEO and once offered to box and athlete over a contract dispute.
quote: Many times we get a group of people together to pitch in a buy the ppvs or go to a bar.
quote: There is an opportunity here that's being missed. People should not be going to jail for non-violent crimes.
quote: They're a bit classier than say Buffalo Wild Wings
quote: People should not be going to jail for non-violent crimes.