Anthony Joshua's defeat last weekend by Andy Ruiz Jr has been dubbed as one of the greatest shocks in modern sport. The heavyweight boxing match, which took place at New York's world-famous boxing venue, Madison Square Garden, was Joshua's American debut.
In a fight in which bookmakers had heavily favoured Joshua to win, millions of viewers across the world were left stunned when Joshua was knocked down 4 times by Ruiz before the match was halted in its 7th round, and Ruiz awarded the victory.
Following the fight, figures were released by MUSO, a data collection agency that monitors piracy across the world, which showed that there were almost 1 million viewers of the fight watching illegally in the UK alone. Nigeria, the birth place of Joshua's parents, took the award for the most illegal streams at 2.35 million.
In total, the match was illegally streamed across the world a staggering 13 million times making it the most illegally streamed boxing match since MUSO started tracking boxing figures in 2017.
While the figures are concerning for rights-holders and broadcasters that are at risk of having the value of their rights eroded through the rise in illegal streaming, others see opportunity in the figures. CEO and co-founder of MUSO, Andy Chatterley, has explained in a statement to the BBC that "this highly engaged audience offers up huge insight and perhaps, more importantly, significant commercial opportunity".
Exactly how Mr Chatterly proposes that rights-holders should exploit illegal streaming remains unclear.
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