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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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By bysmitty on 7/27/2010 12:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
And no wonder! I had no clue these events cost $45-$55 ea! That is absurd. I would think they would get a ton more viewers if prices were a little more reasonable ($5-$10).

By tng on 7/27/2010 1:37:58 PM , Rating: 3
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.

This assumes that all 140K that did not pay would have paid the $45 fee if it were not available online for free. Not a good assumption on the UFC's part. Probaby more like about 10% of that would have coughed up the fee if it were not available for free......

I think that these people use these numbers which, IMO are non realistic, to try to drum up support for their cause.

By gamerk2 on 7/27/2010 4:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
Irrelevent argument on your part; the fact is, whether or not the viewers would have paid to see the PPV if the stream were not avaliable, they still broke the law, and should be punished. Discussion of PPV prices is another issue altogether.

By derricker on 7/27/2010 4:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
You try to point an irrelevant argument bring another irrelevant argument??

Of course the availability is relevant to this discussion, of course PPV prices are relevant and directly related to this discussion, oh and you conveniently left out the point of the declining quality of UFC cards.

I wonder why is that?

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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