Mayweather-Pacquiao fight promoter vows legal action against piracy

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao trade blows during Saturday's fight in Las Vegas.

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao trade blows during Saturday’s fight in Las Vegas.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The president of fight promoter Top Rank Inc. said the company plans to pursue legal action following widespread piracy of Saturday's Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight on video-sharing smartphone apps and websites.

Rather than pay the $100 pay-per-view fee to watch the fight at home, many people watched streams of the fight on video-sharing apps such as Periscope and other technology. Some boasted on social media that they were using Periscope to watch the fight for free.

Todd DuBoef said Top Rank, co-promoter of Saturday’s blockbuster fight, plans to pursue legal action against video-sharing companies and individuals it determines were illegally streaming the fight.

“We’ll have to pursue any people who are allowing people to distribute something that is behind a proprietary wall,” DuBoef said. “We’ll have to challenge those technology companies that are facilitating it and we’re going to have to take a legal position against them.”

Officials with Periscope and its owner, Twitter, did not respond to requests for comment.

Periscope is a smartphone app that allows users to share live video with other users. People who bought the fight were able to record it with their smartphones and stream it live on Periscope and other sites.

Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo seemed happy after the fight, which was won by Mayweather.

DuBoef said technology has created new concerns for fight promoters, who make much of their revenue from pay-per-view television. He said Top Rank will go after individuals who streamed the fight and the companies that provided the platforms to do so.

“When we start finding out more about it and identify the people who are posting on social media we’ll know their names and we’ll definitely go after them,” he said.

Despite the concern about piracy, the highly anticipated Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was expected to smash records for viewership and revenue, DuBoef said.

“We were tracking an exponential amount over the largest fight of all time,” DuBoef said. “We think the results are going to be fantastic.”

Read the Los Angeles Times’ special edition Flipboard digital magazine Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.