Live-streaming mobile devices are the new heavyweight champs.

The Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight on May 2 provided two important lessons. First, sports culture is gullible. We were easily sold on a so-called “Fight of the Century” and happily lined the pockets of all parties involved to watch a predictably boring boxing match. Second, big media is freaked out by live-streaming mobile apps Periscope and Meerkat.

According to Mashable, as many as 10,000 users watched portions of the fight through one Periscope live-stream alone. Dick Costolo, current CEO of Periscope’s parent company Twitter, quickly realized Mayweather-Pacquiao gave the app its breakthrough moment.

It’s important to note live video streams are not a new concept. Websites such as Ustream have enabled folks to capture everything from the mundane to the illicit for nearly 10 years, while the defunct was notorious for illegally streaming sporting events. However, these methods for live-streaming required at least an intermediate level of technical skill to set up and run. Fans also had to know where to find these streams, sometimes risking a computer virus from a sketchy site in order to watch.

Periscope and Meerkat only require the basic knowledge of working a mobile device.

Fans already use their phones to take video and post selfies from sporting events on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, so live-streaming is the next logical step. All anyone had to do was point their device to a television showing Mayweather-Pacquiao or the ring itself, while the links to the stream popped up on Twitter and within Periscope’s globally trending search.

The Internet always wins

Periscope and Meerkat are to the television industry what Napster and LimeWire were to the music industry 15 years ago. They’re disruptive forces to well-established content providers.

However, there is one key difference between the two eras. Whereas the music industry was slow to adapt to how we listened to our favorite artists, the television industry has taken steps to keep up with consumer demands. On-demand services like Hulu, Netflix and HBO Now have proven people are willing to pay for superior versions of what they want to watch.

In this regard, it’s unfortunate sports lags behind other entertainment options. Having unbundled from cable and satellite, legally purchasing Mayweather-Pacquiao wasn’t possible in my house. Instead, I went to my parent’s house to watch the fight with my father. I would have purchased the match had HBO, Showtime and the promoters made an over-the-top internet offering similar to what the WWE has done with their subscription network.

Periscope and Meerkat provided the alternative to finding a fight party or hitting a sports bar to deal with standing-room-only crowds with the caveat of questionable ethics and terrible image quality. Folks ended up watching in droves. How many pay-per-view buys did they leave on the table without a legal Internet option?

Steve Albini, a legendary rock music producer, made an astute observation about the current state of music streaming services which also applies to sports content. “If the internet has demonstrated anything over the years, it’s that it has a way of breaking limitations placed on its content,” said Albini.

Todd DuBoef, president of Top Rank, said the fight promoter will pursue legal action against “those technology companies that are facilitating it.” Except Periscope and Meerkat are likely exempt from direct liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The best Twitter and other services can do is take down the offending streams as they receive complaints, which equates to removing a few leaves from a tree.

Leagues and organizations already establishing rules

During the Final Four in Indianapolis, I played around with Periscope. It was used to live-stream our surroundings on radio row and to capture the vibe of the crowds outside Lucas Oil Stadium. On a whim, I used Periscope to stream Duke’s media availability before the NCAA Championship game. It didn’t sit well with an NCAA official, who politely tapped me on the shoulder and instructed me to stop.

Popular golf blogger Stephanie Wei had a harsher experience when she had her credentials pulled by the PGA Tour after using Periscope to stream practice at the World Golf Championship match play. PGA senior director of communications Joel Schuchmann told The Big Lead the Tour doesn’t allow “any video on the golf course, none of it can be live, period.”

Wei explained her side of the story on 99.9FM The Fan.

Again, Periscope and Meerkat are simply the next logical step when it comes to social media coverage. Reporters and broadcasters already use pictures, Vines and Twitter video as part of their coverage. Sites like SB Nation and Deadspin have utilized GIFs and Vines to distribute highlights seconds after they happen in real-time.

While those popular GIFs and quick video clips are more of a gray area that could be considered “de minimis” or fair use for coverage in the court of law, no such leeway exists for straight up live video.

Leagues and organizations are also playing catchup in an effort to engage with fans on social media platforms. Most have stepped up their games, but live-streaming apps present another challenge. In order to protect their rights holders and their own brands, shutting down members of the media who use live-streaming apps is currently the best option.

It’s not a coincidence the PGA Tour began using Periscope a week after punishing Wei.

Less than 10 years ago, these same entities were worried about the antiquated practice “live blogging.” Who knew that would be the least of their problems in 2015. And once they figure out how to handle the latest trend, the Internet will have moved on to something new.