Periscope users get around PPV outages to 'heart' Mayweather-Pacquiao fight

Cue the anti-piracy rant from content owners: Periscope users were apparently easily able to find and watch Saturday's boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao using the iPhone app. And the illicit live streams were apparently far more reliable than many cable providers' pay-per-view services, which conked out just prior to the start of the fight, much to the dismay of viewers who laid out nearly $100 for the privilege of watching it legally.

Mashable columnist Christina Warren said she had no problem finding live streams of the fight. "The number of streams was almost overwhelming," she wrote, noting that she even saw a stream of the fight from a police department in Africa.

Streams were being shut down frequently, either by Periscope itself or due to connection issues. But more just cropped right up. Viewers quickly noticed that streams that had too many "hearts" (favorites) would be quickly shut down, and began to post messages urging users not to heart live streams of the fight.

"Let's be honest: Most of the people who watched the fight over Periscope never had any intention of paying for the fight. Ever. Media companies can and will wring their hands over lost revenue--and that's a potentially valid concern if this sort of thing becomes mainstream," Warren said.

In short, Periscope and Meerkat have quickly moved from being apps of mild concern for content owners, to a full-blown copyright concern.

However, media companies looking to take advantage of Periscope (rather than its users taking advantage of them) could take heart from one factor.

"The experience of watching the fight on Periscope was inherently more social--and frankly, more interactive--than watching via one of the many pirate PPV or HBO streams available on the Internet," Warren said.

For more:
- Mashable has this story

Special Report: Online video piracy: Ways the industry could address the growing problem

Related articles:
Pay-TV operators get TKO'd with service interruptions during Mayweather-Pacquiao match
Periscope, Meerkat create new piracy wrinkle for broadcasters, along with golden branding opportunity
Twitch updates mobile app with multitaskers in mind
Consumer frustration drives online video piracy

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