By Molly Rubin August 23, The eclipse may be over, but another extraordinary event will likely have Americans glued to their TV sets this weekend: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor. Here are all the ways Americans can watch Mayweather vs. Those willing to pay the steep price tag can order the fight through their cable provider and watch on their home TVs.
Tweet Watching illegal livestreams of big ticket events is time honored tradition of the internet. But this weekend's fight between boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. Newer social media livestreaming capability has made it far easier to instantly share live feeds, and if an event is hyped enough, people watching it illegally has now become an unstoppable inevitability.
Nearly 3 million viewers are estimated to have watched the fight this weekend via online streams, according to Irdeto , a digital security firm. Though many of these were slick, traditional streaming websites, there was also a new surge in social streams.
Between Periscope, Instagram live, Facebook live, YouTube, Twitch, and smaller platforms like Kodi, Irdeto identified streams of the fight over the weekend.
And with the option to have private, share-with-just-your-friends streams like private Facebook Live feeds , it's likely there are many more streams of the fight that were running than Irdeto wasn't able to track.
Social media livestreaming has exploded in recent years, creating a whole new avenue for illegal sharing.
In , when Mayweather squared off against Manny Pacquiao in another much-anticipated fight, Periscope was only two months' old.
Facebook and Instagram's live feed functions were still a year away.
Now, they're as ubiquitous as the platforms that host them. Plus, with every smartphone now equipped with a high definition camera, most homes connected to high-speed internet, and the ease of streamable services on already-familiar social media sites, it's no wonder there was such a torrent of pirated feeds.
There's an entire subreddit dedicated to listing feeds of the fight, and even more people tuned in via streaming websites specifically advertising the fight, according to TorrentFreak. Showtime was one of few US broadcasters licensed to air the match, and was well aware that livestreams were going to take a bite out of its audience.
In an effort to combat their impact, Showtime got an injunction last week against a number of streaming websites, forbidding them from streaming the fight.
Numbers from Showtime later this week will likely show that even with an avalanche of live-streaming options, you can still turn a profit from a fight between the best boxer in the world and a dude who has literally never boxed before.
If anything, the number of livestreams are a testament to how popular the match was. Gone are the days when you needed to have your hacker cousin set up an online mirror to illegally stream a live event.
Now, thanks to social media, we're in an era where it will be impossible to prevent illegal viewing of any event that's hyped enough to warrant the audience. Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter.