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Study estimates Premier League games pirated by two million Brits in 2020

By 5th January 2021 No Comments

The numbers could be affected by the Premier League’s attempt to move to pay-per-view

A study from consumer comparison site Finder has estimated that roughly two milion Brits watched an illegally streamed Premier League match in 2020.

The report from Finder included a survey of 2,000 Brits that took place in December, asking questions about their streaming providers.

It found that 4% of respondents admitted to using illegal streams of Premier League matches, with 3% using illegal streams of other sport. According to the study, this 4% translates as almost two million across the UK.

These high numbers may reflect some of the backlash to the Premier League’s attempt to make games pay-per-view back in October and November.

The short-lived scheme charged fans £14.95 to watch games, but led to discontent amongst viewers and reportedly low viewing figures. According to the Daily Mail, the games on pay-per-view attracted an average of 39,000 viewers – with three matches having less than 10,000 tuning in.

In addition, the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), a trade body set up to protect intellectual property in TV and film, pointed to lockdown increasing the numbers of those willing to use illegal streams.

CEO Kieron Sharp said: “In May, our scanning team removed more than double the volume of film links and illegal streams [that were live] in April, compared to February.”

TV publisher at Finder, Aaron McAllister, said that new, cheaper services such as DAZN may be the answer to defeating this issue: “DAZN is available in the UK for just £1.99 per month and creates a low barrier to entry for consumers. It’s far cheaper than the traditional ways of having to pay for boxing pay-per-view, which helps to discourage illegal streams.”

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