Piracy prevention company Irdeto detected more than 5,000 unique illegal streams redistributing games over the internet during the group stage of the 2018 World Cup.
Brazil was the most pirated team, with more than 582 illegal streams detected for Brazil’s three group stage matches, followed by Morocco (561 streams) and Portugal (535 streams).
England was the fifth most pirated team with 523 streams despite all games in England being shown on free-to-air channels. Belgium just edged England out at fourth (526 streams). Germany’s poor showing at the World Cup mirrored the team’s lack of popularity with pirates, as it did not make the top 10 of pirated teams.
Social media channels, including Facebook, Periscope, YouTube and Twitch, were the main vehicle for illegal streams of the World Cup. Key social media statistics include:
- 3,773 of the total 5,088 streams were detected on social media channels, reaching an estimated 4,292,874 viewers;
- Portugal was the most illegally viewed team on social media channels with an estimated 826,660 viewers of their games;
- Portugal was followed closely by Morocco and Brazil; and
- The group stage game that attracting the most illegal viewers on social media was Brazil vs. Switzerland with an estimated 613,715 viewers.
“As one of the biggest sporting events around, the World Cup inevitably attracts a lot of global attention from pirates, as well as legitimate viewers,” said Rory O’Connor, Irdeto’s SVP of cybersecurity services, in a statement. “Content owners, rights holders and platform owners must continue to work together and enlist technology and proactive services to take down illegal streams in real-time as we progress further through the tournament. Meanwhile viewers of these streams really must consider the risks they are exposing themselves to by viewing illegal streams, and the potential threat of criminal penalties.”
As of the third quarter of 2017, 12% of U.S. broadband households were using a live streaming platform such as Facebook Live or Periscope, and more than a third of households live-streaming TV shows or sports indicated they opted for live-streaming because they did not want to pay for access, according to a new report from Parks Associates.
“Over one-quarter stated that they accessed the content via live streaming because the price of the programming was too high,” said Brett Sappington, senior director of research for Parks Associates. “While these figures ultimately represent less than 5% of U.S. broadband households, they are a significant portion of those watching app-based live streams.”
The profile for live streamers is generally younger, with 19% of consumers ages 18-24 engaging in live streaming activity, but live streaming of TV shows and sports skews older, indicating more older viewers might be using these solutions to access illegal streams of content, according to the report, “Pay TV, Passwords, and Piracy.”
“Eight percent of broadband households have used live streaming apps to watch TV shows, while 7% have used live streaming apps to watch sports,” Sappington said. “Some sports franchises and leagues are legitimately live streaming their content, but much of the produced content on these live streaming platforms remains unsanctioned.”
The report identifies trends among content-pirating consumers, details emerging streaming piracy methods, and assesses viable solutions for addressing these piracy methods.
Additional data from the report includes:
- 18% of Cord Nevers indicate they use the credentials of someone outside their household to access an online video service.
- Among pay-TV subscribers, only 7% indicate they use IDs and passwords for video services from people who do not live in their household.
- 14% of Cord Cutters use others’ credentials for online video services, double the rate of use by pay-TV subscribers.
- 45% of U.S. broadband households are very concerned about downloading a virus or malware when downloading or streaming video.