Pacquiao Fights and the I-Café Business

pacquiao_vs_hattonIn the Philippines, everyone and everything stop when Manny Pacquiao fights. And yesterday was one of those days of glory for the country. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao fought the England’s pride, Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton and knocked him out in the second round of the scheduled 12-round championship fight for both the  light welterweight class and the best pound-for-pound boxing title in the whole world.

What has this event got to do with the i-café business in the country? I remember distinctly a thread at my favorite forum frequented by lanshop (another name for Internet café) owners that started with a complaint by a member citing his low take during Pacquiao fights. Replies ranged from advising the thread starter to stop complaining because while it is true that i-café sales suffer during Pacquiao’s fight days, the event is one that every Filipino should be proud of.

Other respondents gave advice on how Pacquiao fights could be made a good PR (public relations) move for a i-café as in offering free live cable TV watch of the boxing event to customers and neighbors. Of course, the i-café owner will have to shoulder the pay-per-view charge of the satellite feed provider.

Still other more enterprising forum members went overboard and advised to charge their customers PhP50.00 each for allowing them to watch the fight live on some sites that illegally stream it. Those who made the advice may not know that it is not legal to do so and that it may trigger raids by some anti-piracy agencies of the government although I myself seriously doubt if this will be done in the name of the law.

Question is, let’s say that you pay to watch this pay-per-view event, can you broadcast the feed to your i-café stations? I should say, yes, you can do that but charging beyond the regular cost of computer rent per hour is no longer legal. When you do so and charge just the normal fee, aren’t you glad that you do something admirable and honorable not only your customers but to your country as a whole?

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