Two sites that had promised to live-stream this weekend’s boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao — and were sued for copyright infringement by HBO and Showtime Networks — have stripped all fight-related content from the web.
As of Thursday morning, boxinghd.net and sportship.org had substantially removed all references to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, according to the law firm representing the cable networks, as well as Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank. And later in the day sportship.org appeared to be not loading at all.
“Most of the content on boxinghd.net appears to have been removed, and sportship.org only displays what appears to be a file directory,” according to a filing Thursday by the firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton in federal district court in California. “This futile effort by defendants to obviate the need for a restraining order should fail.”
In a previous joint statement, HBO and Showtime had said the two sites were “promoting unauthorized free streams of our intellectual property. As content creators and distributors, we believe that combating piracy and stopping content theft is crucial to maintain our ability to provide our customers with world-class programming like the Mayweather-Pacquaio fight.”
The fight from Las Vegas commences Saturday, May 2, at 9 p.m. ET. It’s expected to pull in more than $150 million in pay-per-view revenue. The PPV event will cost viewers $100 a pop and will be available only through cable, satellite and telco TV partners of the two cablers — which are normally huge rivals.
News of the two alleged piracy sites pulling the plug on the Mayweather-Pacquiao content was reported earlier by Deadline.com.