Wednesday 19th June 2019

More Than 5,000 Pirated World Cup Streams Detected by Irdeto

More Than 5,000 Pirated World Cup Streams Detected by Irdeto

More Than 5,000 Pirated World Cup Streams Detected by Irdeto
A cameraman films teams warming up prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group C match between France and Australia at Kazan Arena on Jun. 16, 2018. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Piracy has been a troublesome issue at the World Cup. A day after the tournament began, FIFA condemned BeoutQ for illegally redistributed feeds in the Middle East and North Africa. Now, a new report by Dutch cybersecurity company Irdeto has revealed that more than 5,000 pirated streams have been identified across the Internet during the tournament.

On Jun. 15, FIFA said it “is exploring all options to stop the infringement of its [intellectual property] rights” to stop BeoutQ, which is said to be based in Saudi Arabia. The recently released report by Irdeto used artificial intelligence to detect illegal streams during the group stage of the tournament.

Irdeto’s report indicated that the three most watched World Cup teams on pirated feeds have been Brazil, Portugal, and Morocco. Those findings stated that 582 illegal streams were in place for Brazil’s group stage matches. An audience of 613,715 illegally watched Brazil play Switzerland—the largest illegal audience for any group match.

Portugal was the subject of 535 streams and had the most viewers across pirated social media streams with 826,660. A reported 561 streams focused on Morocco, which attracted the second-largest social viewership ahead.

In total, nearly 4.3 million soccer fans have so far watched pirated World Cup streams. A total of 3,773 out of the 5,088 streams were carried over social media channels such as Facebook, Periscope, YouTube, and Twitch.

SportTechie Takeaway

Pirated streams have grown more rampant since the last World Cup, when Irdeto said it disrupted 3,743 illegal feeds. Such illicit distribution undermines official broadcast rights holders and can deplete the value they are offering advertisers and sponsors. Another 5,000 illegal feeds repurposed Champions League matches this past season, with nearly five million viewers watching on social media platforms. Irdeto’s estimate of the damage for the 2014 World Cup was a staggering $120.5 million. That figure could be higher for this tournament, emphasizing the importance of a crackdown on piracy.

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