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Lorenzo Fertitta: 140,000 People Viewed UFC 106 Illegally

Lorenzo FertittaUFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta testified Wednesday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on piracy of live sports broadcasting over the Internet, and he said the UFC is potentially losing tens of millions of dollars because people are illegally streaming UFC pay-per-views online.

"Just last month, the broadcast of UFC 106 from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, had over 271 unauthorized streams with over 140,000 views, and those are only the ones that our anti-piracy team and consultants identified," Fertitta told the committee. "There were likely more streams that we simply couldn't find."

In reality, there were certainly more streams that the UFC couldn't find: Internet piracy is a huge problem all over the world, and the 271 unauthorized streams that the UFC could find were definitely not the only unauthorized streams out there.

Fertitta said he wasn't addressing Congress to advocate for specific legislation against online piracy. Rather, Fertitta said he wanted to make Congress aware that it's a problem that will only grow without some type of action.

"I do not have sufficient mastery of the technical details to venture an opinion on how these streaming technologies will develop, but it is clear that these sites are making their money on the backs of stolen copyrighted works," Fertitta said.

One site Fertitta mentioned, Justin.tv, was represented at the hearing by its CEO, Michael Seibel. Justin.tv maintains that it doesn't attempt to facilitate illegal Internet piracy, and that it works with copyright owners to take unauthorized streams down. Fertitta said he appreciates the fact that Justin.tv has reached out to the UFC, but he said he thinks more could be done -- and that many sites are illegally profiting from the UFC's copyrighted broadcasts.

"I submit that they have deliberately chosen not to take reasonable precautions to deter the rampant infringement on their sites because they directly profit from the availability of popular infringing streams on those sites," Fertitta said.

[Fertitta's testimony starts at around the 15-minute mark.]