800k pay to watch Youtuber duel

28 Aug 2018

By: Sport Industry Group

YouTube’s landmark boxing match between vlogging heavyweights Logan Paul and KSI drew a peak global audience of 800,000 on the platform, according to reports.

The highly-anticipated weekend bout, which ended in a draw, was accessible via a pay-per-view broadcast, priced at £7.50.

But millions more reportedly tuned in via pirated streams, including on rival, Amazon-owned streaming platform, Twitch.

More than 15,000 ticket-holding spectators attended the sold-out fight at Manchester Arena, which was billed as “the biggest event in internet history.”

The six-round contest brought together two of YouTube’s biggest stars, American Paul, with 18 million subscribers, and Briton Olajide “KSI” Olatunji.

KSI, whose own channel is followed by 19 million, began the new trend for celebrity fights on YouTube with his win over fellow vlogger Joe Weller in February – a contest that attracted 20 million views on the Google-owned platform.

The latest event has been closely watched from across both the sport and broadcast industries as a possible sign of future trends. A re-match is expected to take place in New York or Las Vegas in early 2019.

Meanwhile Twitch has responded to criticism of its failure to shut down the illegal streams, which reportedly attracted more than one million peak viewers on its platform, with the following statement:

"Our community guidelines prohibit uploading any content that a person does not own, does not have the rights to, or are otherwise not authorised to use.

"Doing so violates our terms of service and may make their account liable to DMCA [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] takedowns by third-party rights-holders. We were responsive to related reports."