UFC 218 took place over the weekend, with Holloway vs. Aldo 2 heading up a packed match card that inevitably saw many taking to the internet in an effort to illegally watch it for free. However, while such a pursuit typically sees viewers landing on dodgy, malware-infested websitse, this time around MMA fans flocked to Twitch in order to watch the event, as one streamer broadcast it to his followers by pretending that he was playing a video game.
Twitch streamer Lester_Gaming streamed the event on his channel, with him appearing in the bottom-right corner holding a PS4 controller and pretending to control the action on-screen. It seems that Lester’s plan was to convince Twitch’s moderators that he was playing EA UFC 3, which recently went into open beta, thus avoiding having his stream taken down.
While Lester isn’t a big name streamer, his inventive way of illegally broadcasting UFC 218 to his viewers attracted his channel a lot of attention. A clip of him pretending to play UFC 3 while broadcasting the event subsequently went viral, with it garnering nearly 600,000 views on the site:
Twitch explicitly states in its terms and conditions that broadcasting copyrighted material isn’t allowed. “Uploading any content that you do not own, do not have the rights to, or are otherwise not authorized to use, violates our Terms of Service and may make your account liable to DMCA takedowns by third-party rights holders,” its Terms of Service page reads. “We do not tolerate, for example: rebroadcasting other Twitch broadcasters’ content, playing pirated games, showing third-party movies and television shows, rebroadcasting a sports match, playing on unauthorized private servers, or uploading content from other sites without permission of the copyright owner.”
Lester has deleted the VOD of the fight, but has claimed that he has not received any takedown notices from the UFC and Twitch seemingly hasn’t noticed the broadcast, either. It remains to be seen whether or not he will face repercussions for the stream, but for the time being it seems that he has gotten away with it.