The running joke about a Ronda Rousey fight is that you can fit the whole thing into a 15-second Instagram video, if not a 6-second Vine — she’s so good that her opponents usually crumble in seconds. You may not see many of those bite-sized clips from her title bout this weekend, though. In a first, UFC is discouraging the press (not just the general public) from sharing unauthorized footage of the fight on the internet, whether it’s a GIF animation or a looping video. There’s no official explanation, but it’s easy to see the concern: the league is worried that you’ll skip that pay-per-view purchase knowing that a fan site could recap everything in a tweet.
This isn’t going to stop regular viewers from posting whatever they recorded from their TV, or the dedicated pirates who know how to avoid bans. However, it’s a telling sign of how social video services have affected coverage of live sports, especially the single-round victories that Rousey is known for. It’s no longer enough for organizations to clamp down on illegal streams and after-the-fact downloads. When anyone with the right social account can spoil an event within moments, UFC and other outfits may have to be extra-paranoid if they want to keep bootlegging to a minimum.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill]