It was billed as the ‘biggest event in internet history’, as UK YouTube superstar, KSI, took on his American counterpart, Logan Paul, in a boxing match on Saturday. The fight, which had been announced in February, attracted more than 20,000 fans to Manchester’s MEN Arena – with tickets ranging in price from £34 to £516.
However, the majority of the money was generated through PPV sales, costing £7.50 ($10) on YouTube. Early indications have shown that over 800,000 YouTube PPV sales have been made, Although KSI claimed that the figure is over 1 million (950,000 YouTube, 100,000 uCast), during an interview on talkSPORT.
It is not clear how much money KSI and Logan made out of the fight, as YouTube viewership money, merchandising and event sponsorship has not been disclosed, but KSI quickly dismissed claims that him and Paul earned £40m, stating “It’s definitely not right, that’s ridiculous that amount, I mean obviously it’s a high amount, but it’s nowhere near £40m.”
The official PPV stream on YouTube has received over 5 million views, with the weigh-in gaining an additional 7.2 million. However, online pirates hijacked a significant percentage of viewers, causing YouTube to lose millions of pounds in revenue. Illegal streams on Twitch were watched by over one-million viewers, a trend that has been repeated in the past for Anthony Joshua fights as well as the McGregor/Mayweather clash.
The fight between KSI and Logan Paul ended in a draw, which has led to a rematch being announced already for February 2019 – which will take place in the US. Another chance to create the biggest event in internet history.