Foxtel cools on legal threats after Mundine V Green illegal live stream fury

Natasha Christian

Foxtel has backed down after threatening a legal bout against those who live streamed the boxing match between Anthony Mundine and Danny Green.

The company has accepted a public apology from Brett Hevers and Darren Sharpe after the pair shared Facebook live streams of the Main Event fight for free.

Mr Hevers' stream gained more than 153,000 views before the broadcaster cut his subscription.

To settle the dispute, both were asked to issue a formal apology on their personal Facebook pages.

The pair’s streams allowed thousands to avoid Foxtel’s pay per view fees.

Thousands tuned into illegal live streams of the Mundine Green fight. Photo: Getty
This live stream received a phone call during the broadcast, claiming to be from a Foxtel representative.

“I unreservedly apologise to Anthony Mundine and Danny Green, to the boxing community, to Foxtel, to the event promoters and to everyone out there who did the right thing and paid to view the fight. It was wrong and I apologise,” Mr Sharpe wrote in his apology.

“I know that this was illegal and the wrong thing to do. I understand that Foxtel and the event promoters invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce the fight and to broadcast it,” Mr Hevers wrote.

“It was piracy, and I'm sorry.”

Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh said in a statement the broadcaster opted to “educate” rather than take legal action.

“Rather than taking legal action, we decided to take the opportunity to educate both of them about the significant harm such actions bring to the production of local Australian content, including live sports,” he said.

“We have given the individuals the opportunity to formally apologise via a public social media post, acknowledging the gravity of the situation, in the hopes that more people will learn that copyright theft is not a victimless crime and something that should be taken very seriously.

Mr Tonagh said the company was “pleased” both had published their apologies.

“Illegal streaming and file sharing of any kind impacts the viability of the entire content industry, and threatens the livelihoods of the thousands of people employed by it, including athletes, actors, technicians, editors, caterers, set designers and many others,” he said.

The incident was instantly followed by controversy, which saw Mr Hevers start a Go Fund Me for any potential legal costs that may arise as a consequence.

When he started it he stated if he didn’t “get sued” he’d donate it to Cancer Council.

His page raised more than $1000 and he’s since said the donation has been made.

“All donations have been processed as promised.

“The intended foundation was worried about bad press which I can understand, therefore I cannot publicly post about them, however if you donated I'm happy to send a copy of the receipt, just private message me.”