Periscope a focus in concern over lost Mayweather-Pacquiao PPV orders

May 5, 2015, 1:13 AM

— -- Focus on potential lost pay-per-view orders from Saturday night's fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao shifted Monday from issues with cable providers ordering and transmitting the fight to concern over piracy.

Todd DeBoef, president of Top Rank, which promotes Pacquiao, said Monday he was concerned about the amount of people who were streaming and watching the fight through Twitter's live-streaming app, Periscope.

"We are going to seek whatever remedy we have to go after people who essentially stole our product," DeBoef said.

DeBoef said he was not sure how many buys were lost from illegal streaming through Periscope, but the parties who own the rights to the fight -- the promoters, together with HBO and Showtime -- will work with companies they hired to combat piracy to help determine the next step.

"In the mid-'90s, it was people stealing pay-per-view through the boxes, and then it moved to digital cards, and then it was through YouTube and websites, and now, it's this," DeBoef said.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo remarked on Periscope's use afterward, though it wasn't clear whether he was referring to unauthorized airing of the fight or sanctioned use of the service -- HBO had used the app to broadcast before the fight.

A writer for tech site Mashable reported that a stream she was watching had more than 10,000 people watching it.

For its part, a Twitter spokesperson said that it received 66 reports from rights holders during the fight and took down all 30 streams that were still actively broadcasting.

"Periscope operates in compliance with the Digital Copyright Act," a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. "We respect intellectual property and are working to ensure there are robust tools in place to respond expeditiously. Broadcasting content that is protected under copyright is a clear violation of our content policy."

In the days leading up to the fight, Top Rank, together with Mayweather Promotions, HBO and Showtime sued a site called, which said it intended to stream the fight for free live. The court issued a temporary restraining order that stopped the site from doing so.

As for the pay-per-view buys themselves, the fight was delayed more than 30 minutes after an HBO executive came in the ring and told DeBoef to delay the start to allow for more PPV orders to come in.

Among those who paid for the fight and had issues, spokespeople for DirecTV and Optimum said things were quickly resolved.

"This was the largest pay-per-view event in our history, and, as with every other TV provider, there was a temporary traffic jam that affected a small percentage of our consumers," DirecTV spokesman Darris Gringeri said. "Less than 3 percent missed a few minutes of the first undercard bout, while virtually everyone was able to see the main event."

It was more of a problem for Buckeye CableSystem in Ohio, which said consumers missed half the fight because of a snafu with delivering the fight to homes.

"It wasn't an overload issue, as fewer than 5 percent of our customers ordered the fight," spokesman Keith Wilkowski said. "It was more of a technical issue that our engineers are reviewing."

Wilkowski said Buckeye CableSystem users who paid $99.95 for the fight would not be charged.

Charter Communications, which also seemed to have broadcast problems with the fight, did not respond to multiple requests for a comment.

The fight was expected to generate at least 3 million PPV buys, which would shatter the record of 2.48 million for the Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya fight in 2007. It is not known how ordering, transmission issues or piracy will affect those numbers.