After their first meeting ended in a draw, back in August 2018, YouTube stars KSI and Logan Paul are set to meet again at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on November 9th.
21,000 fans will view the fight live at the Staples Centre while many, many more from around the world will tune in to watch the major event on the night.
Both of these young men – KSI is 26, Logan Paul 24 – came to ‘fame’ via YouTube and are now recognised by thousands around the world for their online personas. Both of their online descriptions include the term ‘internet personality’ – there’s a job title you wouldn’t have seen a generation ago.
They are part of a long list of influencers who have used the YouTube platform to its full potential, getting their names and faces out into the world via online streaming.
So, when you hear that two YouTubers are facing off in another matchup, you would presume YouTube itself would be part of the broadcast setup. Well, it’s not to be.
Sports streaming site DAZN jumped in and snapped up the exclusive rights. The promotional video for the rematch advertises it as a proper sporting tie. ‘They’ve turned pro – no headgear – all action’ it proclaims.
The first fight was dubbed ‘The Biggest Internet Event in History’. So, why isn’t the giant that is Google’s YouTube platform streaming the fight?
As reported in the BusinessInsider, KSI’s manager, Liam Chivers, sent the publication an official statement, claiming they went for DAZN to avoid piracy issues among other things.
“I wasn’t going to risk broadcast on an unstable or unsupportive platform and have cost and piracy risk put on KSI.
“I realised straight after the KSI vs Logan fight that we didn’t need to host the rematch on YouTube PPV [pay-per-view]. Not just for the lack of promotional support and high fees, but because people still have to click a link to order the fight regardless of where it is hosted.”
Interestingly, Chivers was not able to give any information on why he thought DAZN was better protected from piracy and illegal streams than YouTube.
Over 850,000 people paid to watch the first fight on YouTube 13 months ago – each paying the $10 pay-per-view fee.
Last year’s bout was an amateur fight, however, November’s meeting has been sanctioned as a professional fight in LA. Surely that increased hype and exposure means that KSI Vs Logan Paul 2 is going to be even more of a money-spinner.
When asked about how big a blow it was for YouTube’s position in the sports broadcasting sector, Harry Hugo, Co-founder and Chief Campaigns Officer at The Goat Agency told InsiderSport: “If they don’t do it on YouTube pay-per-view it means they’ve just lost a huge opportunity.
“If they had secured the broadcasting rights so that viewers can only watch the fight on YouTube then it would’ve established a record that these events will always take place on YouTube. Now there’s another path, everybody else is going to start thinking that they can go to different platforms such as Amazon, DAZN or Netflix, which is terrifying for YouTube.
“KSI and Logan Paul have found their success through YouTube, so it’s a shame that the platform isn’t utilising the fight to its fullest. YouTube had such an opportunity to really own this and own the amateur sports environment and they’re just giving it up for nothing.”
He added on what it means for DAZN and the sport of boxing, when it comes to engaging a new audience: “KSI and Logan Paul’s audiences are of a younger age, therefore there will be a new generation of lifelong boxing fans who are being brought into the sport and into the channels who are broadcasting it.
“This audience may not have necessarily watched boxing before but as it’s an influencer event, it has attracted this specific audience, which is not due to the sport but due to the personalities involved, opening up new opportunities for DAZN.”