After asking Congress for help in combatting illegal internet streams of UFC pay-per-views, the UFC is taking on piracy the old-fashioned, American way: a lawsuit. The UFC has filed a lawsuit against a bar in Allston, Mass. for showing UFC 104 without a license.
When addressing the House Judiciary Committee, Lorenzo Fertitta said that the UFC is losing millions of dollars because of the free, illegal streams.
"The piracy of live sporting events is illegal, it kills jobs, and it threatens the expansion of U.S. based companies," Fertitta told lawmakers. "The UFC is potentially losing millions of dollars a year from piracy."
When bars show fights, they pay an additional license fee, but at the same time, the fights bring in additional business. Before I began covering MMA for Cagewriter, I would go to two different bars to watch UFC events, and rarely were those bars not packed. It's incredibly unfair to make a dime off of the UFC's product without paying a fair price for it.
Beyond the fairness issue, MMA fans should be concerned about piracy because it will affect them. The UFC will need to make up losses somehow, and that will inevitably be passed on to the consumer.
Your one, illegal stream may not seem like a big deal, but you would be amazed how many people ask about free streams during our fight night chats. Yes, it may be expensive to pay, but in the long run, you will end up paying more. Combine your illegal stream with the thousands of others who stream illegally, and you are seriously hurting the growth of the sport.