Synamedia unveils rampant piracy in sports viewership

89% of sports fans subscribe to a pay-TV or OTT service yet 51% watch pirate sports services at least once a month
Content piracy, Sport piracy, Synamedia

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Synamedia, an independent video software provider, has unveiled the first in a series of reports designed to broaden understanding of global sports piracy in order to protect the value of sports rights. 

The Charting Global Sports Piracy report, draws on results from a 10-country study of over 6,000 sports fans conducted by Ampere Analysis.

It finds that, while 89% of sports fans have a pay-TV or subscription OTT service, over half (51%) still watch pirate sports services at least once a month.

Furthermore, of those who regularly view illegal sports content, 42% watch sports fixtures on a daily basis. This is over 60% higher than the average sports fan. This suggests there is a considerable opportunity for operators to drive incremental revenues with targeted sports offerings. 

Notably the report segments sports fans for the first time based on their attitudes to, and consumption of, pirate sports content. 

For operators and rights holders, understanding these nuances provides a springboard from which to reduce the appeal of illegal content and encourage greater uptake of legitimate services. A detailed assessment of different approaches to combatting sports piracy will be covered in subsequent reports. 

Simon Brydon, senior director, sports rights anti-piracy at Synamedia said: “Global spend on TV sports rights is set to total almost $50bn in 2020. Protecting these revenues and keeping sports on screens requires a deeper understanding of the evolving piracy landscape and a cogent response. This initial research into what motivates sports fans to access illegal streams establishes a baseline for a more nuanced and targeted approach to combatting piracy. Our ambition is to help sports rights holders and operators apply a more forensic approach that drives up legitimate revenues, reduces sports’ fans reliance on illegal streams and takes the wind out of the pirates’ sails.”

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