Saturday's fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor was a huge sporting event that drew in massive numbers of viewers, and the boxing match was so highly anticipated that many people went to extreme lengths to see the spar, with an estimated 2.93 million viewers worldwide watching pirated streams.
Variety reports that the match spawned 239 illegal live-streamed rebroadcasts online, according to content-security vendor Irdeto, with 67 streams hosted on well-known piracy streaming websites.
In addition, pirates used services like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to illegally distribute the event, which was projected to gross upwards of $1 billion in PPV revenue. Official numbers have not yet been released.
While users who paid to watch the fight forked over $99.95 to Showtime Networks to access the event, it's unclear how much of an impact piracy had on the event's bottom line, as many viewers who pirated the fight would likely not pay for the event had the illegal streams not been available.
In addition, piracy-tracking firm Tecxipio reports that an estimated 445,000 internet users downloaded footage of the fight after its conclusion.
The actual fight lasted 10 rounds and ended with Mayweather scoring a victory with a TKO of McGregor, who made his boxing debut with the match. Mayweather now has a career record of 50-0.
Photo Credit: Getty / Stephen McCarthy