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Mayweather-McGregor Fight Most Pirated Live Event Ever?

Mayweather-McGregor Fight Most Pirated Live Event Ever?

There’s no question that CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS) took in plenty of revenue from its live Showtime broadcast of the Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor fight on Aug. 26. However, a new report from Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar suggests CBS could have made even more money than it did.

Barclays estimates that the big fight generated between 4.7 and 5.0 million pay-per-view buys and a total of $460 to $500 million in pay-per-view revenue. Venkateshwar believes Showtime received roughly 65 percent of this total revenue, with cable providers receiving the balance.


While that’s certainly a large chunk of change, Barclays also estimates that 2.9 million viewers watched the fight on pirated online streams via Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL)’s YouTube or other streaming video sites.

Venkateshwar says these staggering numbers suggest the fight may have been the most pirated live event in history.

“It is uncertain how much piracy affected match revenues but it is clear that technological evolution is likely to make this a bigger challenge in the coming years,” Venkateshwar wrote.

Related Link: Floyd Mayweather And 5 Other People Who Made $300 Million In One Day

Piracy certainly didn’t impact the paychecks of the two combatants. Mayweather’s payout for the fight was reportedly in the $300 million range, while McGregor took home roughly $100 million.

In addition to the revenue CBS lost to piracy, Showtime also experienced several technical glitches in its live stream of the fight, resulting in the company offering customer refunds.

Despite the missed opportunities related to the big fight, CBS shares are up 0.7 percent in the week following the fight.

Image Credit: By United States Government and Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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