The Anthony Mundine vs Danny Green boxing match on February 3 was a pay-per-view hit for Foxtel, but two men who streamed it on Facebook Live will avoid legal action after apologising..
The fight, which Foxtel charged almost $60 for the right to view, was beamed publicly on the social media site by Brett Hevers and Darren Sharpe.
Sharpe, who received phone calls during the fight from Foxtel representatives requesting he stop the rebroadcast, was initially defiant. Both he and Hevers even had crowdfunding pages running in case of costs from any Foxtel legal action.
The fundraising proved to be prescient, with Foxtel chief Peter Tonagh confirming last week that legal action would be initiated against both men.
But with Hevers and Sharpe posting remarkably identical public apologies on their Facebook accounts on Friday, Foxtel announced Sunday that it would take no further action.
“Rather than taking legal action, we decided to take the opportunity to educate both of them about the significant harm such actions bring to the production of local Australian content, including live sports,” said Tonagh.
Hevers said on his Facebook apology that he knows that the re-broadcast was “the wrong thing to do” and he wanted to “unreservedly apologise to Anthony Mundine and Danny Green, to the boxing community, to Foxtel, to the event promoters and to everyone out there who did the right thing and paid to view the fight”.
Tonagh said that the company had been in touch with Sharpe and Hevers to express “our great disappointment with their unlawful activities” and was “pleased” that the men took up the chance to apologise.
“Illegal streaming and file sharing of any kind impacts the viability of the entire content industry, and threatens the livelihoods of the thousands of people employed by it, including athletes, actors, technicians, editors, caterers, set designers and many others.”