Free live streams for Fury vs Usyk spread illegally online as piracy experts warn of record problem

Free live streams of the Fury v Usyk fight are spreading online amid record-breaking levels of piracy (YouTube/ Screengrab)
Free live streams of the Fury v Usyk fight are spreading online amid record-breaking levels of piracy (YouTube/ Screengrab)

Tyson Fury is set to fight Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night, hoping to become the first unified heavyweight champion of the world in nearly a quarter of a century.

Millions are expected to tune into the official broadcast of the Fury vs Usyk fight, which is hosted on DAZN, Sky Sports Box Office and TNT Sports Box Office. However, millions more are also anticipated to watch free live streams illegally in order to bypass the pay-per-view fee.

>>Follow our live coverage of Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk here<<

Free live streams of the Fury v Usyk fight were already spreading online in the build-up to the fight on Saturday, amid record-breaking levels of piracy.

Illicit streams have become increasingly common for popular sporting events, particularly PPV boxing and UFC fights. Unauthorised streaming sites are easily found through search engines like DuckDuckGo, while some are even shared on popular sites like Facebook, X and Reddit.

“The projected piracy figures for the Fury vs Usyk fight are a stark reminder that this problem remains unresolved,” Christophe Firth, a partner at consultancy firm Kearney, told The Independent.


He added: “In particular, live sports has seen the fastest growth rate of any pirated genre since 2018. On a more positive note, the scale of the problem means that even small inroads into tackling piracy can have a positive impact.

“Even if a quarter of the revenue lost to piracy could be recovered, the global broadcast and xVOD subscription market would be boosted by £19 billion.”

The use of three official broadcasters makes the fight more accessible than other high-profile PPV contests in recent years, with Mr Firth urging the rights holders to distinguish themselves from the free live streams by offering additional viewer experiences, such as interactive features.

Data gathered by Kearney and anti-piracy data firm Muso earlier this year showed that global video piracy site visits rose to 141 billion in 2023, with the US, India, Russia and UK topping the rankings.

“Digital piracy continues to increase, and with rising internet penetration and the proliferation of video-on-demand platforms, piracy is more of a problem than ever,” Muso CEO Andy Chatterley told The Independent.

“Our data showed that there was a 6.7 per cent increase in global TV piracy last year and highlights that there remains a vast audience that is not currently being satisfied with legal offerings.”

Beyond the financial impact for broadcasters, the pirated streams of the Fury vs Usyk fight also pose a risk for anyone seeking them out.

Research from cyber security firm Opentext Security Solutions in 2022 found that 90 per cent of 50 streaming sites were classified as “risky”.