After Mayweather-McGregor streaming debacle, why won’t the UFC use the R-word?

After Mayweather-McGregor streaming debacle, why won’t the UFC use the R-word?

The UFC is “incredibly disappointed” that its attempt to stream Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor to paying fans didn’t work out so well. Probably not as disappointed as the people who paid $100 for a fight they didn’t get to see, but still.

Showtime, on the other hand? It’s so disappointed that it’s actually willing to use those magic words – “a full refund” – when expressing its sorrow, which is nice, but also the least you can do when you sell people a product that you don’t actually deliver.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 million people watched the fight via illegal streams, meaning that an awful lot of people who didn’t pay got something that was denied to plenty of those who did.

This is a problem for a lot of reasons. For the UFC, which leans heavily on pay-per-view as a cornerstone of its business model, it’s a pretty big one.

As more people opt to cut the cord and go without any form of cable or satellite dish in their homes, offering a reliable streaming option becomes vital for companies like the UFC. Cracking down on piracy of those streams also has to be a priority, but the technological trends in social media point to more and not less sharing, which means it’s only getting easier for each person to become a broadcaster unto him or herself. It’s not a problem you’re going to sue your way out of.

That brings us to Saturday night’s boxing match. I suspect that no one really wanted to pay $100 to a collection of already wealthy people in exchange for a fight of questionable value and significance. You might purposely…