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UFC Could Be Furthering Measures Against Internet Piracy

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BayTSP, a company that assists clients in defending against piracy, recently released some information regarding their efforts.  To wit:

One global sports franchise and two of the largest pay-per-view event promoters in the world have signed with BayTSP to protect and monetize broadcasts valued at more than $5 billion annually, the company announced today.

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"Pay-per-view broadcasters were some of the first to see the value of Internet streaming technology as a revenue source beyond television," Ishikawa said. "But it only works if viewers subscribe to the event or view it via the authorized sites, which usually include event-related promotions."

BayTSP’s clients include one of the world’s biggest sports franchises, which uses CAP to monitor for highlights clips posted by fans on video hosting sites like YouTube, DailyMotion and Yahoo Video. A major pay-per-view promoter uses CAP to monitor for unauthorized live video streams, which fans often announce in discussion forums.

"A growing number of unauthorized steams are in high definition, offering the same quality as the official streams," Ishikawa said. "As streaming technology becomes cheaper and easier to use, broadcasters run the risk of losing a larger share of their audiences unless they meet this challenge head on."

Robert Joyner speculates on who the pay-per-view event promoters might be:

The logical companies to attach to this information would be the UFC and WWE for the PPV event promoters and Manchester United Football Club for the global sports franchise. The crackdown has already been cited by some as a possible reason behind the precipitous drop in traffic at the streaming site Justin.tv.

Considering how closely they guard any type of media product derived from their promotion, it makes sense that the UFC would be one of the players in question.  As far as watching a PPV event without paying, it makes total sense and is understandable that Zuffa would want to hold piracy to a minimum.  We're talking about their main revenue stream.  Zuffa is in a similar unenviable position as musicians and record companies were in a few years ago.  While technology can be the conduit for additional revenue, it can also be a means for theft - or how ever you would like to term such acts.  Anytime a successful company attempts to stop the unauthorized use of their products, the masses that utilize nefarious means of obtaining said product, and some that don't, will likely voice their disgust.

It would be interesting to know if the BayTSP technology is as effective as is being touted.  You can check out the link inside the Joyner excerpt for more on that.  Stay tuned.