- BT Sport decides to introduce pay per view fees for UFC games, and the community turns to piracy.
- Regular subscribers decided to boycott the PPV service, while many canceled their subscription and bought pirate IPTV sets.
- BT Sport explores a new realm in streaming services that many believe will be the next trend.
BT Sport, the broadcasting rights owner for UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) events in the UK has decided that it would be a good idea to charge its subscribers an additional fee to watch big matches. BT Sport has been offering UFC content in the UK since 2013, with the regular subscribers experiencing no weird or optional limitations. However, the company decided to take a turn this Saturday with the UFC 239 match between Jon Jones and Thiago Santos. To watch the fight, subscribers were asked for an additional “pay per view” fee of £19.95.
Instead of seeing more money flowing in, BT Sport was met with rejection as its regular subscribers decided to turn to piracy and watch the match through illicit channels. In addition to this momentary failure, BT Sport experienced subscription cancellations, as many were paying for a package only to access UFC events. Obviously, this didn’t play out the way that the broadcasting platform thought it would, and it serves as an example for all live sport streaming platforms which could be processing and evaluating such moves right now.
According to TorrentFreak, who highlighted the incident, several pirate IPTV service providers told them that there was a noticeable spike in the demand for BT Sport content during the weekend, and this was only the beginning. The subscribers of BT Sport packages did what they did not only out of choice but also as part of an agreed boycott that was organized on social media platforms like Reddit. By boycotting UFC 239, the subscribers hope that they will force the broadcaster to reconsider, and take PPV charging out of their strategy in the future. This is not the case for everyone though, as some express their satisfaction with the quality of the content and the experience of consuming it on pirating platforms.
Some underlined the absence of annoying interruptions for ad breaks, while others praised the complete lack of censoring. At the end of the day, pirate IPTV subscription services that offer all BT Sport content unconditionally cost £10.00 per month, while the regular subscription to the legal service would set one back by £40.00/month, plus the PPV fees. Obviously, the difference is beyond any comparison, and content providers like BT Sport going greedy are the number one reason that pushes people to piracy.