Keeping the increasing piracy of MMA events such as UFC in mind, Reddit banned one of its most popular MMA sub-Reddit /r/MMAStreams. After several copyright infringement complaints and a controversial Twitter outburst, the 165,000 member community is no more. The banned sub-Reddit was suspected to have received widespread attention and scrutiny because of an ex-MMA fighter Brendan Schaub.
Ever since the inception of MMA, it followed a strict Pay Per View (PPV) model that wasn’t affordable for many of its fans and followers. Due to UFC’s domination, the PPVs now cost around $60 or more in the U.S. With such high PPV rates in place, fans have resorted to piracy and have streamed the events through various piracy streaming outlets such as torrents, pirate IPTV services and more.
Accessing such piracy sites is not an easy task, certainly not for a first time user. Here’s where Reddit comes into play. The sub-Reddit /r/mmastreams acted as an aggregator for several piracy streaming websites where anyone could stream several MMA videos for free. The fact that such streaming sites could be found on Reddit remained as an open secret for a long while till ex-MMA fighter Brendan Schaub drew greater attention to it.
Ever since Schaub departed from UFC, he wasn’t very polite about the way UFC operated. As a matter of fact, he was one of the few prominent MMA figures to make discouraging comments about UFC 236, which was supposedly the very first UFC PPV to air in ESPN+ under a special streaming deal.
When Schaub couldn’t view UFC 236 through ESPN+, he took Twitter to express his frustration and mentioned that he might have to resort to piracy streaming websites.
“If I don’t get this ESPN + to work in the next 5 mins I’m gonna be forced to turn to the dark side. I’ll buy a @stylebender Reebok kit so I don’t feel bad. @bryancallen what site do you use #UFC236,” tweeted Schaub.
In his podcast after the event, he revealed several aspects of the piracy streaming world of UFC and how it must be taken seriously. While doing so, he mentioned Reddit by name and spoke about the now-suspended /r/MMAStreams sub-Reddit and how it was a place to find resources for illegal streaming.
It is speculated that due to Schaub’s repeated discussion and mentioning of Reddit as one of the means to access piracy sites for streaming might be the contributing factor for the sub-Reddit’s suspension.