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The UFC thinks prison time for pirates would KO piracy.  (Source:
"When people start going to jail, people will stop doing it." -- UFC President Dana White on piracy

Zuffa 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 and -- 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 the Digital 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 the most 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.

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Lost Revenue?
By transamdude95 on 7/27/2010 12:04:47 PM , Rating: 5
I still don't understand how people can assert that a person who views/listens to 'x' for free would have bought 'x' had it not been available free. There is no sense behind such a statement. And in this case, most people can watch the UFC PPVs for free just by going to a local bdubs, Hooters, or bar that orders them.

RE: Lost Revenue?
By chmilz on 7/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Lost Revenue?
By neihrick1 on 7/27/2010 1:26:30 PM , Rating: 2
they may be able to stop the american streamers, but p2p streams originating in other countries where live ufcs air on cable channels is gonna be a little harder. for ex. when the stream has the espn logo its from the uk and its not ppv

RE: Lost Revenue?
By headbox on 7/27/2010 12:19:01 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Lost Revenue?
By Mitch101 on 7/27/2010 12:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
$44.95 covers a couple pitchers and wings.

$44.95 is a bit hard to swallow every month. Maybe quarterly or drop the price.

RE: Lost Revenue?
By OUits on 7/27/2010 1:09:27 PM , Rating: 1
As someone pointed out above, you'll usually pay $5-15 cover at a bdubs/bar to watch a UFC event.

RE: Lost Revenue?
By transamdude95 on 7/27/2010 1:59:44 PM , Rating: 5
Not in my area. I would estimate I have at least 15-20 different places to see a UFC event within 20 miles. All free. No cover and you don't even have to order anything. Some friends that live in other parts of the US tell me the same thing, no cover and no minimum order. I suppose it's bad luck if you're stuck somewhere that has a cover. It'd be smart for one of those business to drop the cover, as they'd likely be packed.

As a side note, if you're paying a $15 cover, you might as well round up some friends and all pitch in to watch it on ppv.

RE: Lost Revenue?
By bhieb on 7/27/2010 1:20:17 PM , Rating: 1
I still don't understand how people can assert that a person who views/listens to 'x' for free would have bought 'x' had it not been available free.

I still don't understand how people assert that when a person can't afford 'x', they have some sort of right to steal it.

While I agree with your premise that this is not 100% "lost" revenue, it does not justify the act of piracy either.

And in this case, most people can watch the UFC PPVs for free just by going to a local bdubs, Hooters, or bar that orders them.

Most of the bars I know charge a cover (along with a drink minimum) so is is not "free" either. But I do agree there are legitimate ways to watch it.

RE: Lost Revenue?
By Motoman on 7/27/2010 2:03:36 PM , Rating: 2

As I have stated many times before, any and all claims about "losing $X due to piracy" are lies.

The VAST majority of people using a pirated copy of something, or in this case, an illicitly free broadcast of something, would never pay for it anyway. If it wasn't available free, they'd happily go without. NO LOST REVENUE.

There are some who would pay. But not many. Not enough to make a rounding error.

...I can't ever see paying anything to watch UFC or whatever else anyway. In fact, in a pinch, I might pay you for the privelege of not having to watch it...

RE: Lost Revenue?
By limitedaccess on 7/27/2010 4:23:00 PM , Rating: 2
While obviously not all the piracy falls under this case, but for UFC PPVs a significant amount of the pirated broadcasts are being done for profit. Some streaming sites actually charge viewers and can undercut the UFCs own streaming services due to the specifics involving PPV contracts. Even bars have previously streamed the events to attract patrons. They recently took a bar in Boston I believe to court as they were showing the event via a free stream while charging cover for it.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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