Sky TV would not say how many people legally paid to watch the Parker-Ruiz Jr fight last night but had no problems highlighting the "huge" numbers trying to watch it illegally.

Sky spokeswoman Kirsty Way said last week's court decision that ruled against seven individuals who had illegally streamed Joseph Parker's July fight with Solomon Haumono had "not acted as a deterrent", much to the network's disgust.

"There was a huge number of people illegally streaming the fight," Way said. "We're talking at least into triple figures. We were kept really busy taking them down."

Way said what they didn't know was how many people were accessing the individual streams.


"It could have been 10 people, it could have been 10,000. We won't know that until later," she said.

When asked how many people paid to watch the fight through Sky's pay-per-view Arena channel, Way was more coy.

"I'll say what I always say: those numbers are confidential. But we're very happy with the numbers."

Martin Snedden, Duco CEO, was a little more forthcoming, saying that while the numbers did not match the reported 85,000 that bought the 2009 all-New Zealand heavyweight clash between David Tua and Shane Cameron, they were still "really good".

Snedden also said the event would make a profit, increasing the chances of Duco staging more marquee events in New Zealand. He admitted that there will always be people who illegally stream an event successfully. But the fact that it's an intangible digital property doesn't make it any different from stealing clothes from a shop, he said.

"In my mind it's out right theft. It's simply stealing property that doesn't belong to them."

The $59.99 price for the main event and undercard was controversial but on Saturday night Duco owner and fight promoter Dean Lonergan told the Herald that they could make the fight $2 and there would still be price-point resistance.

In other words, any big event that is not free-to-air will be offensive to some sections of the fanbase.


It seems likely that the rising cost of watching fights is creating more of a 'market' for illegal streams but Sky and Duco have signalled that they will push back hard.

Snedden and Sky CEO John Fellet have said recently they treat the practice as theft.

On Friday, a court ruled against seven individuals found to have unlawfully streamed July's fight between Parker and Solomon Haumono.

The judge found they had infringed Sky's copyright, granted an injunction restraining any further infringements and ordered each defendant to destroy copies and pay damages of $100 as well as costs of $2670.