Joseph Parker fires out warning to illegal streamers ahead of WBO title defence
Joseph Parker has warned boxing fans about illegal streaming of his WBO world title defence, saying he takes the piracy personally.
"My message is don't do it because it is illegal for a reason, and if I catch you you're going to be in trouble," Parker said as he prepares top fight Romania's Razvan Cojanu in Manukau on Saturday night.
The fight will be broadcast live on Sky's pay-per-view channel at a cost of $49.95 in New Zealand and also beamed out around the world.
"My views on piracy and illegal streaming are I think it's illegal for a reason and I feel like there's a lot of people working hard behind the scenes to get the fights going and showing things on TV," Parker said.
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"When you're doing that sort of stuff [illegal streaming] you're taking away from those that are working hard. Everyone has families that they have to feed and pay for and that's why I feel it shouldn't be done."
Sky CEO John Fellet said they would again have a team monitoring the web and social media for piracy on Saturday night. Similar efforts on recent Parker fights had helped uncover pirates.
"Piracy or illegal streaming is no different to walking into a store and grabbing a physical item; it still represents the value of a lot of hard work by a lot of people," Fellett said.
"It may be fun, it may be exciting, but at the end of the day you are taking money out of the athletes, the actors and the production people and even people here in this building."
Fellett warned that legal action would again be taken.
"We've been quite successful of late in monitoring Facebook pages and YouTube and finding these streams. We fingerprint the signal so we can track back to who it goes to, and take legal action after that. Right now, we are taking civil actions and using the courts to make our point. In other countries around the world they take greater criminal action on these types of events."
Sky claimed around 400 people were involved in producing Saturday night's fight, from camera and studio operators through to support staff.