Over the past year, watchwrestling.ai and its associated domains have reached more than 253 million visits. Most of the traffic originated from the United States, the United Kingdom, India, and Canada.
After ACE identified and confronted the Uttar Pradesh-based site operator, the watchwrestling.ai site and all of its associated domains were transferred to ACE. The sites now redirect to ACE’s “Watch Legally” page.
The enforcement action is a result of ACE’s anti-piracy task force, a partnership established earlier in 2023 with DAZN and beIN Media; to focus on the illegal re-distribution of sports programming.
“DAZN has invested significant amounts in building a successful business around combat sports, helping fund the development of MMA and boxing, as well as providing the best quality content and service for fans,” said Ed McCarthy, Chief Operating Office of DAZN Group.
“To continue to invest, DAZN has to be able to protect its intellectual property. The enforcement work ACE undertakes, as part of its joint Sports Piracy Task Force initiative, is a critical element of this work. It is particularly pleasing to see a criminal endeavor of this size being effectively tackled, and the positive outcome that potential subscribers will be redirected to legitimate providers of content such as DAZN,” said Mr. McCarthy.
ACE shuts down globally popular live sports piracy site based in India. Press release. October 26, 2023. Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE)
Why it matters
This announcement reflects the expanded scope that ACE has taken on in recent years, beyond the Hollywood studios and the movie industry. ACE worked closely with DAZN, one of the world’s leading live-sports streaming services and now a member of ACE.
“The shutdown of watchwrestling.ai marks an important victory in our ongoing campaign against the piracy of live sports programs,” said Jan van Voorn, Executive Vice President and Chief of Global Content Protection at the Motion Picture Association and Head of ACE. “The use of piracy sites to view live sporting and pay-per-view events is impacting the sustainability of live event programming. Legal services provide premium entertainment content that is reliable and legal. Piracy funds crime groups and puts consumers at risk of malware infection. This case should serve as a warning to illegal piracy operators everywhere that their days are numbered.”