‘It Hurts The Individual Athletes’: UFC COO Trying To Cut Down On Illegal Streamers

UFC Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein said he and the organization are looking to tackle the anti-piracy efforts.

Epstein said the UFC currently relies on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to crack down on piracy, but it’s difficult to do during live events. A request – which DMCA gives services like YouTube, Twitter and other platforms – to remove the material could take as long as a half an hour to process. Still, the COO said they are trying to stop illegal profiting and reselling of the material.

“We love our fans and want more fans,” Epstein told Sportico in an interview. “We’re not trying to stop them from showing video of Conor [McGregor] or other fighters. We are going after the pirates . . . we are trying to stop illegal profiting and reselling of copyright material.

The bottom line is it’s hurting UFC fighters, he said.

“Every buy that’s stolen is hurting [McGregor] and other fighters,” Epstein added.

“This is not a victimless crime or one that just hurts the big corporation—it hurts the individual athletes . . . remember they have as short window [of life] to monetize” their athletic abilities and skills.”

UFC President Dana White claimed that the organization brought in record amounts of revenue in 2020, sharing roughly 15-22% of its revenue with the fighters. The revenue is treated like independent contractors.

Other sports leagues like the NBA, NFL, MLB and more share around 50% of total revenue with their athletes.

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