As the opening weekend of the 2014/15 Premier League approaches, broadcasters might want to take note of some unexpected piracy figures from Irdeto stemming from the FIFA World Cup 2014, which found that Europe and North America broadcasters were the biggest targets for illegal streams worldwide.
Irdeto’s intelligence also revealed that several unexpected matches were hot targets for piracy, emphasizing that you can’t always predict where piracy will hit. Through the duration of the World Cup (12 June – 13 July), Irdeto’s Network Operations Center (NOC) and anti-piracy teams across the globe successfully disrupted 3,743 streams, impacting a potential 10.6 million illegal views. The 10.6 million illegal views represented an estimated revenue value in excess of $120 million.
Irdeto’s investigations identified European broadcasters were the main targets for illegal streams -27% of streams detected – indicating a clear need for revenue assurance and anti-piracy services ahead of the new Premier League season. Interestingly, European piracy was rivalled by North America with 19% of illegal World Cup streams coming from broadcasters in that region.
Social media plays a critical role in online piracy. Irdeto removed 199 live YouTube streams, disrupting approximately 2.5 million viewers. Irdeto also disrupted Facebook accounts or groups with more than two million members that were distributing links to unauthorized live video streams.
During the World Cup, the most pirated match was the semi-final between the Netherlands and Argentina, with 252 illegal streams. Even though this match took place between teams from Europe and South America, it was actually a North American broadcaster whose channel was featured in the largest volume of illegal streams. This reaffirms that consumers will use any online source available, no matter where it originates, to watch their favourite match.