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NeuLion, Globecomm in digital distribution of ‘Money Fight’

Technicians in the control room at Globecomm in

Technicians in the control room at Globecomm in Hauppauge. Credit: Globecomm

Two Long Island companies will help bring the ballyhooed fight between mixed-martial arts fighter Conor McGregor and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. to millions of fans worldwide on Saturday.

NeuLion Inc. and Globecomm Systems Inc. will control segments of the video distribution for the event dubbed “The Money Fight,” which some predict will generate a historic windfall.

“I think it’s going to be the biggest pay-per-view fight in history,” said Ralph Garcea, an analyst who covers NeuLion for Echelon Wealth Advisors, a Toronto-based investment management company. “The best-case scenario is it goes 12 rounds, it’s a split decision and they need a rematch.”

Cost of the pay-per-view event through U.S. cable and Web streaming providers: $99.99 in high definition.

Hauppauge-based satellite communications company Globecomm will collect the feeds from the Las Vegas fight through its deal with Showtime Networks Inc., a unit of CBS Corp. Technicians in Globecomm’s Hauppauge control room will funnel the signal to cable and satellite systems and deliver the feed to NeuLion.

Plainview-based NeuLion will take the feed from the 12-round fight and transcode it for transmission on the internet. NeuLion, which also handles authentication and payment of subscribers, works with companies that own the digital streaming rights, including the mixed-martial arts organization Ultimate Fighting Championship based in Las Vegas, and Sky Sports and Eleven Sports Network, media companies based in the United Kingdom.

NeuLion executive vice president Chris Wagner said the company would have operations rooms in Plainview and London each staffed with about 100 people to manage streams for 200 countries.

To accommodate people whose time zone or schedule won’t permit them to watch the event live, the NeuLion player has an “anti-spoiler switch.” The switch lets viewers “time shift” the event.

“If you stay off social media, you’ll be experiencing it as if you’re watching it live,” he said.

To ensure smooth streaming, NeuLion works with companies like Akamai Technologies Inc., based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, whose caching mechanisms speed content delivery.

Garcea said the fight should be an incremental “positive” for NeuLion, though he said its share of the revenue was unclear.

Wagner said the fight will be a “mega event” because it mixes the audience for boxing — Mayweather, 40, is an undefeated welterweight boxer — with the audience for mixed martial arts — McGregor, 29, is 21-3 in MMA bouts.

“Those audiences are usually separate,” he said. “You’re talking about two very popular fighters.”

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