Anthony Joshua’s April 2017 fight against Wladimir Klitschko cost UK customers £19.95 on Sky Sports Box Office, but it was made available to watch for free through a Facebook Live stream.
The stream was traced back to the Sky account of Craig Foster, from Scarborough, who says his subscription was cut shortly after. The Facebook stream was viewed by around 4,250 people.
He also received several letters from Foot Anstey LLP, a law firm representing Sky, one of which said he faced being hit with an £85,000 penalty if the case went to court, the Mirror reports.
Foster, who agreed to pay Sky £5,000 in legal costs, claims that one of his friends live streamed the fight through an iPad, on which Foster had already logged into his Facebook account.
He says Foot Anstey also asked for the names and addresses of all of the people who watched the fight with Foster, but he chose not to supply the details.
“Mr Foster broke the law and illegally shared copyright protected content with thousands of people online,” Neil Parkes, Partner at Foot Anstey LLP, told The Independent, speaking on behalf of Sky.
“He has since acknowledged his wrongdoing, apologised for his actions and signed a legally binding agreement in which he agrees to pay a sum of £5,000 to Sky.” Last year, another Sky customer was ordered to pay £16,000 in legal costs after illegally streaming Sky Sports.
In a similar case in the US, a Facebook user made Deadpool available to watch for free, while it was still being shown in cinemas.
The pirate copy was viewed by more than five million people, and the man who uploaded it to the social network reportedly faces up to three years in prison if he’s convicted of copyright infringement.