Despite a history of questionable results in other industries, the UFC continues to wage war on internet piracy. In a press release sent out today, the UFC announced that they’ve reached confidential settlements with over 500 business and individuals they found illegally streaming and viewing their content.
The settlements, reached over the past two years, are only part of the UFC’s campaign to combat piracy, which includes working closely with Federal and state law enforcement agencies.
“We are committed to standing toe-to-toe with anyone trying to illegally broadcast or stream UFC events,” UFC President Dana White, said. “Today’s announcement further drives home the fact that we are fully prepared to pursue any business or individual that steals our programming.”
Clearly, the UFC is still trying to send a message, but is it working? 500 pirates may seem like a lot, but it’s only a small drop in the bucket compared to the number of people who illegally stream and view their events each and every month. In front of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee earlier this year, Lorenzo Fertitta said they identified 271 illegal streams with 140,000 viewers. Shortly thereafter, the UFC declared war on piracy. Maybe it’s just me and I never paid attention to it before, but it seems like pirating increased since then. Before, I’d see a random link here and there, but after that announcement, it seems like links and requests for them can be found everywhere. I don’t have any scientific data, but I would definitely be interested to see where their efforts have taken them. My guess is not very far, if it hasn’t made the problem even worse.