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Australian man in trouble for livestreaming PPV boxing match to tens of thousands of people
This might be an expensive night of boxing.
One of boxing’s biggest problems in the last decade or so is the proliferation of so many fights on pay-per-view, where fans have to pay upward of $70 to watch their favorite boxers. As such, some fans who have the cash to pay their cable company or satellite providers for the event end up livestreaming it on Facebook Live or Periscope so people around the world can watch for free.
That’s what a good Samaritan named Darren Sharpe did on Friday while tuning in to a PPV show on Foxtel, an Australian pay TV company. But with a reported 150,000 people tuning in to his livestream, the cable company got wind of his shenanigans, called him, and asked him to stop livestreaming. The man refused, and instead, recorded this delightful video detailing the conversation.
Both men, at least in this video, are unfailingly polite, even though it’s clear they’re not going to agree on the legality of what is transpiring.
But according to news.com/au, Foxtel is not backing down from the fight, because it feels its copyright protection has been compromised.
“The incident with Facebook last night is not just theft. It is a threat to the future viability of live events such as boxing and to the sustainability of the content industry generally,” CEO Peter Tonagh told the website. “The instigators of the illegal streams on Facebook were aware that what they were doing is illegal, they were reminded of this by Foxtel staff and one has gone so far as to create a fundraising page in anticipation of his legal costs. As you would expect, Foxtel will be taking appropriate action.”
Luckily for Sharpe, he’s apparently had the foresight to open a GoFundMe page to pay for a possible legal defense. Writes Sharpe: “Please donate in case I end up getting sued haha if not and I Foxtel doesn’t rekt me I’ll donate to cancer council cheers everyone your the best.”
As of this writing, he’s raised more than $2,500 of his $10,000 goal. But no matter how this turns out, that could be an expensive evening of boxing.
H/T Bro Bible
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.