- YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI will be back in the boxing ring on November 9 for a rematch of their first livestreamed fight, which took place last year.
- The rematch will be taking place in the Staples Centre in Los Angeles and will be shown exclusively on sports livestreaming app DAZN rather than YouTube, the platform that made the two vloggers famous.
- KSI’s manager said in a statement that the team made the decision to move to DAZN to prevent the match from being pirated. He didn’t explain how the team could prevent people from pirating DAZN’s streams, however.
- Last year, the fight was streamed on YouTube for $US10 per viewer but in the end more people watched the match through illegal streams, costing both the stars and YouTube millions of dollars.
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YouTube rivals KSI and Logan Paul will be back in the boxing ring on November 9 for a rematch of their first livestreamed fight, which took place last year and resulted in a draw.
But there’s a key difference from last year’s contest – the two men are moving away from the very platform that propelled them to stardom.
The match will be held at Los Angeles’ Staples Centre, a 21,000-capacity arena, which is home to the Los Angeles Lakers, and will be streamed exclusively to US livestreaming service DAZN. Last year’s fight, which took place on Manchester, was available to stream through YouTube’s pay-per-view service.
It’s a surprise decision given how reliant the two online stars are on YouTube, netting millions of subscribers, views, and likely millions of dollars in ad revenue from the video site.
But KSI’s manager, Liam Chivers, took a swipe at YouTube and said the team made the decision to move to DAZN to prevent the match from being pirated.
“I wasn’t going to risk broadcast on an unstable or unsupportive platform and have cost and piracy risk put on KSI,” Chivers said in a statement emailed to Business Insider.
“I realised straight after the KSI vs Logan fight that we didn’t need to host the rematch on YouTube PPV [pay-per-view]. Not just for the lack of promotional support and high fees, but because people still have to click a link to order the fight regardless of where it is hosted.”
More than 860,000 viewers tuned in to watch the match on YouTube’s pay-per-view service last year and paid $US10 to do so. But even more viewers watched the match through various illegal streams on Twitch.
Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next and an expert in the industry, vented his frustration about illegal streaming on Twitter last year.
“Nothing makes sense anymore,” he wrote. “I’m ticked off at Amazon [which owns Twitch] for not protecting the live PPV [Pay-Per-View] IP of Google’s YouTube from piracy. Welcome to our world, YouTube. Millions in immediately lost value and more importantly undermines future business opportunities as it trains piracy is only a click away. Amazon fail.”
It is not clear exactly how much it will cost to watch the fight on DAZN – a membership to stream unlimited sports on its site costs $US99.99 a year or $US19.99 for a flexible monthly plan. It’s also possible that fans will still be able to pirate the match illegally.
And it’s not clear yet how UK viewers, who are unable to access DAZN, will be able to tune in; Chivers said in his statement that this will be confirmed in “due course.”