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Mayweather-McGregor Viewers May Face Fines For Watching Illegal Streams

Mayweather-McGregor Viewers May Face Fines For Watching Illegal Streams

The price of this year's most anticipated pay-per-view sporting event varied greatly depending where in the world you were based. UK viewers were charged £19.95 ($26) for the Mayweather-McGregor boxing bout, while those in the US had to pay an eye-watering $89.95 (£70) or $99.95 for HD (£77).

Millions of people willingly paid those prices, but millions more looked for other ways to watch the fight. Illegal streams and unauthorised live broadcasts were available across the internet on Facebook, blogs and YouTube.

Now, it seems that those who went down the latter route may face fines. The Daily Mail reports that many of those streaming the fight through an unofficial source saw a watermark pop up on their feed with a random selection of letters and numbers.

mayweather mcgregor
mayweather mcgregor
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Credit: PA

That mystery code, according to TorrentFreak - an online publication dedicated to news about copyright and file-sharing - was quite possibly placed there by licensed broadcasters in order to track down pirates.

The site stated: "The numbers would allow (the broadcaster) to track the illicit stream back to a subscriber and/or a set-top box tied to a particular account.

"Since that subscriber has then re-streamed that content back online illegally, the code would act as a homing beacon and could spell bad news for the individual involved."

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TorrentFreak also suggests the code could also have been placed there by the pirate sites themselves.

"Pirate streams are vulnerable to being 'stolen' in much the same way that official streams are," the publication said, "so it's possible that a provider wanted to keep tabs on where its streams were ending up."

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Mayweather McGregor

Credit: PA

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If the watermarks were placed there by licensed broadcasters, it could mean serious fines - or even jail time - for those hosting illegal streams of the fight on YouTube, Facebook or blogs.
Two people are reportedly facing up to a $60,000 (£46,455) fine and five-year jail sentence after using Facebook Live to stream the Danny Green vs Anthony Mundine fight back in February this year.

Australian Darren Sharpe received a phone call from television network Foxtel asking him to stop his bootleg broadcast. He has started a Go Fund Me page saying: "Please donate in case I end up getting sued."

Time will presumably tell what the purpose of these codes were - and whether other people will find themselves in similar situations.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Mayweather McGregor

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Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some of the biggest names in sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.