Report calls for sports anti-piracy rethink after ‘staggering’ illegal viewing figures

By 26th October 2020 No Comments

Synamedia report finds that new plans are needed to stop sports piracy

Video software provider Synamedia has published a report that finds what is described as a ‘staggering’ 83% of the most engaged fans who watch sport every week access illegal streams.

Featuring work by Ampere Analysis on research on the behaviour and motivations of over 6,000 sports fans in ten countries, the ‘Tackling Sports Piracy in an IP World’ recommends a new approach to anti-piracy.

It found that the biggest deterrents to pirate sports stream viewers are disruption to their viewing, and the risk of legal and social consequences. 84% of sport fans who use illegal streams cite these as reasons to stop.

The report comes to the conclusion that while consumer education can help, it isn’t enough as three quarters of those surveyed believe that piracy is morally wrong yet continue to do it. Instead, a combination of making streams less reliable and legitimate services mroe attractive is what it calls for.

Simon Brydon, senior director, sports rights anti-piracy at Synamedia, said, “To remain financially viable in the face of the double whammy of Covid-19 and hyper-piracy, sports rights owners need to impose stricter contractual requirements on streaming services, while investing in their own monitoring, intelligence and automated take-downs. To quote one operator interviewed for this report, its ambition is to make IP sports piracy harder than selling fake designer handbags.”

Incentives could include flexible pricing models and delayed services for free users. Meanwhile, deterrents would interrupt or take down illegal services and their sources of funding.

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