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Volume 24 No. 117
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Showtime Suing Websites To Prevent Pirating Of Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor Fight

Showtime is "suing to stop more than 40 websites from airing an unauthorized stream" of the Aug. 26 Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor fight, according to Ashley Cullins of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Attorney Dennis Wilson said the sites are "all currently formatted as Mayweather v. McGregor blogs populated with articles that are stuffed with keywords related to the fight." Showtime argued that because of this strategy "several of the potentially infringing sites appear in the top Google search results." Showtime said that it expects the sites to be "populated with links to sites offering the live stream right before the fight is broadcast." The network is "asking the court for an injunction to stop defendants and any of their partners or licensees from making the fight available for viewing or transferring their websites to another registrant or registrar." Mayweather's '15 defeat of Manny Pacquiao "prompted a similar suit." Showtime and HBO "sued for 'anticipated' copyright infringement -- and the court granted a temporary injunction" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 8/15). YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Iole noted UFC COO Lawrence Epstein believes that the fight could be the "most pirated pay-per-view event ever." The signal that night could be "stolen more than 1 million times." Sources said that if anything, Epstein is "being conservative." Mark Taffet Media President Mark Taffet, a former HBO Sports Senior VP, expects the fight will post "enormous sales." But he "isn’t of the mind that the theft will be as damaging to the promotion as many others believe." Taffet said that part of the reason for that is the "viewing experience in many cases isn’t as good as the legal stream will be" (SPORTS.YAHOO..com, 8/11).