Twitter’s Periscope app knocks out promoters of Mayweather-Pacquio fight

Why pay $99.99 when you can download Periscope for free?

fight battle boxing
Credit: Shutterstock

It was billed as the fight of the century and the cost to watch it lived up to the hype: $99.99.

But many who refused to pay the hefty price to watch Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao battle found alternative ways to watch the big bout – for free.

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Earlier this year Twitter bought Periscope, makers of an iOS app that allows users to live-broadcast from their phones. Meerkat is another app that does basically the same thing.

boxing gloves fight punch hit Pixabay

During the big fight in Vegas, users who were following the top-trending hashtag on Twitter found multiple people who were broadcasting the fight live on Periscope. Users just connected to the broadcast via Periscope and there was the fight. For free.

The quality is not what you would get had you paid $99.99. Most of the Periscope broadcasts were people placing their phones in front of their televisions and re-broadcasting the fight they had paid money for.

What this really meant was that every person that watched the fight for free on Meerkat or Periscope did not pay $99.99 to the promoters of the fight. CNN called it Periscope’s “Napster” moment, referring to the music-sharing service of the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, which was eventually shut down after the music industry got upset. Good luck to anyone who wants to make money broadcasting the next live-sporting event in the age of Periscope and Meerkat.

On Monday afternoon a Twitter spokesperson said that the company does not endorse content that is protected via copyright from being broadcast on Periscope. Read more about the company's response to the weekend's fight here

Cloud much?

There was another tech lesson from the fight as well. The bout was delayed about 45 minutes because demand for the pay-per-view subscriptions were higher than expected, causing some users who had paid for the fight to not get it. 

This not a prime example of when cloud computing resources should be used. Organizers of the fight have not yet explained what caused the delay. But the cloud is all about providing scale-out capacity when needed.

That sure would be frustrating if you had just paid $99.99 to watch a fight but you couldn't. It might have been a little bit easier to swallow for users of Periscope and Meerkat though; at least they didn't have to pay.

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