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Irdeto: sports broadcasting needs forensic watermarking

Mark Mulready

Mark Mulready

At this week’s SPORTEL in Monaco (12 – 15 October, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco), the question of piracy is likely to be higher up the sports broadcasting agenda than ever before.

Indeed, as sports broadcasting becomes increasingly digital and multiplatform, the prevalence of internet distribution often indirectly accelerates the spread of illegal sports content.

Content protection specialists Irdeto, who will be presenting at this year’s event, have recently been especially busy educating the industry on some the dominant trends in contemporary piracy, such as the removal of the broadcast logo and other unique identifiers in pirate streams.

This practise is particularly relevant to live sports. Why? Well, without a logo it is more difficult to track where the illegal content has come from. Furthermore, by removing such unique features, online pirates are trying to remove the potential for rights owners and broadcasters to take enforcement action.

One of the most cutting edge tools for fighting back against this is forensic watermarking. “Forensic watermarking ensures unique identification of the source broadcaster even in the absence of a logo or other unique features,” says Irdeto. “And unlike fingerprinting which provides statistical likeliness, watermarking provides actual proof of source identification. Forensic watermarking can be used be the content owners and the rights licensee; it is relevant for all high value content: latest movies as well as sports.”

For more information on watermarking, Irdeto’s Mark Mulready (Senior Director, Cyber Services & Investigations, Revenue Assurance Services), will be discussing this and other related matters at a Sportel panel entitled “Match Maker: The Right Tech for the Right Rights” (Tuesday 13th October, 14:00pm – 15:00pm CET, Conference Room, Level -1)

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