Floyd Mayweather was not the only victor last Saturday night. Well, at least to Dick Costolo, chief executive officer of Twitter. Shortly after the highly-anticipated Mayweather-Pacquiao ended, Costolo tweeted that Periscope was the true winner of the night.
He may have a point. Viewers who were without access to TVs during the match, or those who were disinclined to pay the lofty $100 pay per view fee to be able to see the fight via HBO or Showtime, instead turned to Periscope, wherein they could watch the fight on their mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) or computers basically for free.
In order to do this, any person who owns an iPhone or iPad device can just access Twitter's Periscope mobile app, and then commence broadcasting the fight by pointing the camera of their handsets to the TV screen, in the process sharing their own mobile view to other people following the user's live streaming content.
As reported by Bloomberg, HBO and Showtime actually reached out to Twitter, as well as other live video streaming services like Meerkat, requesting them to cease or remove live streams of the boxing match. Both have even filed an injunction against other websites for copyright infringement, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
It is not clear yet just how many Periscope users viewed the bout via live streaming. Twitter has yet to release any official viewership statistics (that is, if they will at all). But considering this event has been billed as the fight of the century, we can expect that a very large number of viewers did resort to Periscope in watching the match.
Some may label this alternative viewing option as nothing more than piracy. HBO and Showtime will most definitely agree. But having said that, both companies really can not complain, considering the millions of dollars they are raking in in exclusively broadcasting the fight. As of this writing, the final earnings have not been made public yet, but you can bet that it is going to be a very big number.
As for Twitter -- well, it appears that it just got its first legal case against Periscope. The social media giant, after all, just relatively recently purchased the live streaming startup in March of this year. Piracy or not, the fact that many people resorted to Periscope in live broadcasting a trending event only goes to show that live streaming content does have an audience, and that live streaming services really does have a potential to be the next thing.
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