Fight of the Year: pay-per-view against the cloud

Published on May 06, 2015

Fight of the Year: pay-per-view against the cloud

    Those of you who are interested in martial arts, and especially boxing, have already managed to get acquainted in detail with the most anticipated fight of this year - Floyd Mayweather against Manny Pacquiao . I will not dwell on the content of the duel, I want to talk about another fight that was at the same time in the media space.

    The fight itself was the most monetary in history. Two broadcast networks that provided access by subscription (pay-per-view), HBO and Showtime, simultaneously had broadcast rights. However, as it turned out, a couple more players got in between them.

    So, before the battle, it was announced that 3 million subscriptions for this battle were expected, each worth $ 99.95. With $ 300 million ahead, the event broke previous records in advance: 2.5 million subscriptions for Mayweather’s 2007 fight against De La Hoya and $ 150 million in total revenue from the Mayweather’s fight against Alvarez in 2013. According to various estimates, from $ 55 to $ 60 from each subscription should go to promoters, which means about $ 200 million.

    In general, rubbing sweaty little hands, the interested parties began in scuffle.

    Well, while progressive humanity watched the battle for money, thousands of people enjoyed the sight of a freebie: spectators of the battle took advantage of the recently released Periscope and Meerkat applicationsto start streaming from the battlefield in real time.

    For those who do not follow the area: these mobile applications allow you to shoot video and transfer it in real time to a cloud service through which people can watch what is happening. In Periscope, the data is stored for a day, in Mirkat, everything goes only in real time. Well, to complete the picture: Periscope was recently bought by Twitter for an unnamed amount between 75 and 100 million dollars.

    So, the audience broadcast the fight, and boxing fans watched these broadcasts with pleasure on their devices. The management of the channels hastened to turn to the services themselves to stop the disgrace. Only in Periscope 66 appeals were received, of which three dozen were completed, the rest were already completed by then. Also Showtime and HBO are going to sue several streaming sites that simply took the picture without permission - but this is already a more common thing.

    Different opinions of newsmakers can be read in this article , but basically the statements are divided between “Yes, in general, we almost did not notice anything” and “We will figure it out properly and punish anyone.” It is clear that there is lost profit and that during the next battles a little more stringent security measures will be taken.

    Leaving aside the problems of show business, let's see what this means in terms of technology.

    We are already accustomed to the fact that data channels are becoming cheaper and more accessible. That is why there is an avalanche-like growth of video services - from YouTube to sites with premium subscription content. Playback devices are also becoming easier - we watch online video on devices of various sizes - from smartphone to TV.

    Now the progress of both components has come to receive the video. In addition to the usual shooting of videos with subsequent upload to the site, the next step is now taken - shooting in real time. Mobile communication channels pulled up after the power of smartphones and, as a result, products and platforms began to be released that make real first-person shooting with subsequent broadcasting.

    Reading the news and attending industry events, I see that there are constantly appearing both free platforms like Mirkat, and paid ones aimed at the premium segment like TV channels, with a cost of tens of thousands of dollars a year. News channels gently grope the soil and also try to do their projects.

    A couple of companies have also appeared among our clients that are developing smartphone applications for transferring data to their services. They use our media server as a key element in the processing of incoming streams and subsequent distribution to viewers. Well, the creators of applications, in addition to the platform itself, create business logic for a variety of monetization (primarily advertising) and socialization (balls, retweets and other likes).

    In general, we will see a few more high-profile premieres of social streaming projects ahead.
    One question remains - which of them will survive and make a profit.