Technology keeps challenging traditional distribution models as Sky TV gets shafted, again

via Sky Sport UK

via Sky Sport UK

An illegal live video of Joseph Parker’s heroic victory over Carlos Takam has been viewed more than 100,000 times, prompting legal threats from promoters.

The Saturday night fight, which saw Parker beat Cameroon-born Takam in a close points decision, cost $49.99 to watch pay-per-view on Sky TV’s Arena channel.

But tens of thousands were able to watch for free after Facebook user BeastMoze broadcast Saturday night’s fight using Facebook’s live video function.

BeastMoze appear to have filmed the bout on a television set.

By Sunday morning, the video had attracted 112,000 views and nearly 1500 shares.On Sunday, Duco Events boss Dean Lonergan said anyone caught streaming the fight would face serious consequences.

“If we can find out who these people are we will track them down mercilessly, invoice them tens of thousands of dollars in payment for the theft of our licensed broadcast of the event, and if they don’t pay up we’ll look forward to taking them to court,” he said.

“People who thieve by streaming are nothing but lowlifes.”

People who watched the streamed videos were ultimately harming their favourite fighters, Lonergan said.

“It takes money out of Duco’s revenue streams, and obviously the more money we have, the more we can afford to pay Joseph Parker.”

Numerous other Facebook users streamed the fight using similar methods, but BeastMoze’s video was the most widely-viewed.

Sky TV were not immediately available for comment.

All it takes is for one person to re-broadcast a pay-per-view event using one of many free and low-cost apps.  How is the industry going to respond?  They’ll try to use a sledgehammer.  But that’s not worked in the past.  Tracking down the single person for a live event is going to be near impossible without some serious international resources.

The answer lies in delivering content without using a paywall.  Or, by delivering it as such a low cost as to be effectively free.

Licensing and distribution in a global market while using methods developed for books and CDs simply won’t work.

Until rights holders figure it out, this is just the start of their problems.   The whole media delivery system needs to be Freed.


– Jack van Beynen, Stuff


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  • cod

    As someone said, $49.95 for a pay per view was the real theft. same thing happening in software for years – didn’t Microsoft have to do a deal with some government because they were all using bent software.

  • taurangaruru

    Why don’t pay TV broadcasters stream content on the web? I for one would pay (as long as costs were reasonable ) to watch NZ rugby instead of being forced to pay $60 per month to Foxtel to endure commentary from Phil Kearns. On top of that 60% of the fee is for something called the “entertainment package” which quite clearly shows such as Geordie Shore are anything but. Come on SkyTV provide live & recorded content, perhaps with a price differential between the two & don’t even think about Geo blocking nonsense.

    • Nige.

      Sky currently charge people something like $15 per day though their “fan pass” service.

      Probably double what it needs to be.

      • taurangaruru

        Geo blocked in the Western Islands, & I thought the www was an borderless medium

      • Miss Phit

        I figure $5 for a days sport or movies if you tick that box would be worth it, but anymore and I agree its too much.

    • Miss Phit


      Why dont they set up pay for view online, at a reasonable cost ($5 a game for example or maybe for larger events $10 for 3 days). Make it easy to do and people will just pay and do it. Make it hard and costly and people will try to find ways around the system.

      Sky have themselves to blame for their predicament. Streaming is where it is at and streaming on demand too. I see they are doing this but only for full time subscribers which is too costly. If I want to watch cricket Ill happily pay but for a few games in a month I dont want to pay for 6 mths of sport I wont use.

      I have cut back now to the bare bones package and will look at streaming (legally) or another satelite decoder for free to air content (which is basically what we are now getting). Just have to find a mysky type of recorder decoder thingee and I’ll break away for good. That and Chromecast means we dont need sky.

      Its sink or swim time Sky. Adapt or die.

      Your choice, ive made mine….

  • David Moore

    “People who watched the streamed videos were ultimately harming their favourite fighters, Lonergan said.”

    Yeah, I’m sure all the money just goes to the fighters and not a cent gets cream off by all the hangers on. Dean’s just in it for the love of course….

    It reminds me of a top executive at EMI saying that if internet piracy couldn’t be stopped, the internet would have to be shut down. That was around 2006. Oddly, EMI no longer seem to exist, I wonder what happened?

    • MaryLou

      Erm. Isn’t that what happens when a company isn’t making enough money, because customers aren’t PAYING for your product? If this boxing match illustrates nothing else, it shows that even with quality content, if people don’t wanna pay, they’ll take it for free. Steal, I mean.

      • David Moore

        Correct. They didn’t see any value in what EMI did, so it no longer exists. Music is more plentiful now than before, so what has been lost?

        • MaryLou

          Very hard for me to comment on what happened to the performers under the EMI label. But what I DO know, is that it wasn’t a problem with people not seeing value in last nights boxing match – they did – hundreds of thousands of them. But there were 2 options. Paying, and not paying. Heaps chose not to pay. The option of not watching, is what would have happened had people not attached value to it. I think had they even charged $10 – it would have made no difference. It was available free, so that’s the option people were always going to take.

          • David Moore

            That tells you the value people put on it being live.

          • MaryLou

            The only time people would actively choose to pay is if the quality was such that it was hard to view. So the “stolen’ content, must have at least reached a reasonable standard.

            Really, I view this in the same way you view the old honesty boxes on the farm gate. When I was young, most people would pay. Nowadays they’re not only going to not pay for the fruit, they’ll steal the darned box at the same time! No one (or not many) people nowadays are ever going to pay anything regardless of value, if they can get it for free.

            I asked my sons friend this question. “It’s opportunity cost. If I don’t pay for the music, I can afford Burger King”.

  • MaryLou

    I have some sympathy. Let’s face it, most of us here left our teens and twenties some time ago (cough) so those here that say the’d be willing to pay, but “just not that much” are probably still in the minority. I hate Sky and am aware how easy they’ve had it, but since when did it become okay to say “I want what you’re selling but since I don’t like your price I’m going to steal it”?

    And it’s worse with the younger ones, they don’t want to pay a cent, regardless of value. They have Spotify and probably plenty of others. They only use it because it’s free. They have ways of getting round all advertising.

    I agree content providers need to change their model, but danged if I can see a way to make it pay in this environment.

    • David Moore

      Who said it should pay? For centuries being an actor, musician or sportsman was something that never earned any money and was only rarely something you could make a living doing. Wealthy actors and musicians are an aberration of the mid-late 20th century, there is no guarantee it will last.

      • MaryLou

        I think that is probably where we’ll head back to. The only question will be, how much of an impact on variety there will be.

        Mind you, there’s plenty of rubbish and few Picasso’s in what we currently have!

      • Miss McGerkinshaw

        The extra plus I can see from sports people not earning millions is that it could take drugs out of the area? And maybe actors would stop thinking they are so special they have to let us know their (correct!) opinion on everything.

  • Anthony

    Is this the same Dean Longergan who even when he runs that celebrity fight fundraiser takes a considerable cut for himself for running it?

    • Miss Phit

      No such thing as a free lunch. Look at how much registered charities actually scalp off the top for their “admin fee” and how much really reaches the needy.

      We used to give to lots of charities but no more. We check their “fees” and go from there. If they are gouging then they get nothing and we pick something else.

  • CableGuy

    The people who re-broadcast a pay-per-view event are clearly in breach of copyright. They should be stopped. Perhaps facebook is at fault too for allowing user to do this and should ban the user, just as an ISP can be responsible for their customers breaching copyright and stop their internet service (even though I know of no cases where this has ever happened). Are the people who viewed the BeastMoze broadcast at fault too, just like a torrent user?
    What if some decided to republish Incite Politics on facebook or some other website? Maybe asking people to pay for content is as an outdated model? This would also be a clear breach of copyright and should be stopped.
    I think that technology will shape copyright protection, just as it has allowed copyright theft. Methods such as the new HDMI standard 2.2 and how it uses HDCP to allow only an approved source to view the content. However you will never be able to stop determined people but hopefully you reduce the cases of copyright to allow the content creators to still make a profit.

  • CD

    I discovered the hard way that recent changes on our phone line by Spark/Chorus have stuffed the connection between our MySky box and the internet.
    Sky (phone) assistance on hand to help at 8.30 on fight night? Zero of course.
    I watched the (free) Sky UK stream.and then the full replay on Youtube today.
    Actually the UK commentary was great. Unbiased, genuinely interested to see how Parker would fare, and ultimately impressed.
    If Sky ever loses the rugby that’s me gone before lunch time.


    If i want to watch something live for free, I could do that via a VPN server

  • SFB

    I do have some sympathy for Dean in this. Now we know the fight went 12 rounds and Parker won I guess $50 was pretty good value. However if Takam had won by a knockout in round one then you would be pretty hosed off. Its a gamble. Rattue from the Herald pretty much nails it.

    • pisces8284

      Especially as the bouts before the main one are usually a waste of time. It was probably worth $50 last night but normally it wouldn’t be

  • Bartman

    They may take a sledge hammer to the NZ nut, but meanwhile in outer Internetberia there is Would need a nuclear bomb from this distance!

  • Jax

    I thought the powers that be had come out and said avoiding geoblocks to netflix is not illegal. So does that make it legit to watch overseas streams of the fight? If I watched the SkyUK version – I wouldnt have taken anything from Sky NZ. All a bit hard to say really – and then – surely its the person streaming it who is breaking the rules. All a bit complicated.

    The reality is, there are to many ways to watch this without paying if you want to. I have never heard of the facebook one, but there were dozens of free links posted online on various sites I saw – from the trademe message board to reddit etc etc – then you have periscope and all manner of other methods. I think its just another case of the world changing and they will have to figure out how to make it work.

  • waldopepper

    didnt apple get around people downloading songs by making the genuine licensed content so cheap to buy that finding a way to get them illegally was a waste of ones time and money. still what would apple know. not like they are a big successful company or anything.

    i often think nzpost should be lowering the cost of a stamp, not raising it. surely this would encourage people back to mail ? and cut costs by delivering 2 days a week perhaps ? a 2 day service would be fine for most i would have thought. same principle.

  • zotaccore

    Sports, well most of them, have become so commercialized that the spirit of sports is diminished. A small amount of people make a heck of a lot of money out of sports and I suppose that’s why Longergan gets all septic about it. I just think that enjoyment costs money these days. I think back 30 years when it was great to be able to settle down in front of the box and watch whatever sports was being broadcast and not pay a dime (except of tv licence fees back then). Look at soccer – what a farce that has become… Rooney gets paid millions of pounds and can’t even score a goal at the last world cup. Millions for zero talent. The money is being fed and of course they bleat when they can’t get every red cent. That’s the price of capitalism (and nope I’m not a socialist either!).