Now that some time has passed since the YouTube Vs. TikTok boxing matches, it's fair to say that the idea was something of a failure. The fights earned plenty of social buzz, but they didn't generate as many pay-per-view sales as many anticipated, leading to a gap in revenues. Now, some of the event's participants say they haven't been paid what they were owed for their fights.
Let's explain the Social Gloves lawsuit.
The YouTube vs. TikTok event was known as Social Gloves, and according to reporting in The Wall Street Journal, the event was expected to generate 2.2 million pay-per-view sales. Instead, it generated just 136,000, and Austin McBroom, who organized the event, is facing lawsuits from participants and by the live-streaming platform that hosted the event. Austin's business, Simply Greatness Productions LLC, has said that it may have to file for bankruptcy in order to sort out the lawsuits.
LiveXLive has sued Austin, alleging that he defamed the company and caused their share price to drop more than 20%. Simply Greatness has filed a countersuit, saying that LiveXLive failed to properly promote the matches, and hasn't turned over any of the revenue that the event did generate. The court papers say that Simply Greatness is suffering from "crippling debt."
The papers continue, saying that this debt comes in spite of the fact that the company created an event that generated “a well-attended stadium, billions in social media impressions and near-universal positive feedback.” LiveXLive is seeking $100 million in damages, and Simply Greatness has also been sued by two of the fighters who participated in the event.
Tayler Holder and Nate Wyatt have also sued Austin.
In addition to the suit from LiveXLive, Simply Greatness is also facing additional lawsuits from talent involved in the event. Reports suggest that each of the boxers was promised $1 million in payment, and the suits filed by Nate Wyatt and Tayler Holder explain they have failed to receive much of what they are owed.
"It’s public now. We trained hard & fought hard. A lot of people didn’t get paid including our coaches," Tayler wrote on Twitter. We won’t stop fighting. For now, my attorney Bobby Samini has filed a lawsuit to make things right. We held up our end of the deal & expect the same in return from Social Gloves."
In its own lawsuit, LiveXLive said that the figures promised to some of the fighters was "senseless," and added that Simply Great wasn't properly financed. They also added that many of the basic aspects of promotion for the event, like ensuring that participants posted about the fights on social media, weren't done.
Although Simply Greatness may be planning to file for bankruptcy, Bobby Samini has said that that tactic doesn't make much sense. "They have no ongoing business to reorganize," he said. “Even if they did, I can’t imagine any fighter signing on for the next event with this track record.” The fights may be over, but the battle in the courtroom is just beginning.