Illegal video streams of the English Premier League matches are costing football clubs in the league as much as £1million per match in the way of lost sponsorship.
The findings were revealed by UK digital piracy experts MUSO as part of research it carried out in association with sports sponsorships and marketing technology company GumGum Sports.
The researchers focused on eight matches spanning the 2018-19 season, of an unnamed Premier League club.
The research revealed that each match saw an audience of 7.1 million fans in as many as 149 countries on an average. And they say worldwide illegal streaming of the league delivers £1M in uncaptured sponsorship media value per match.
According to the research, the illegal streams served more than 1 million fans per match in China.
Following China illegal streaming was most prolific in Vietnam, Kenya, India and Nigeria.
“The global study also broke down its £1M-per-match finding by on-pitch sponsor, noting that, of the seven deal placements analysed, the majority of value came from field-side LED (rotating digital creative) and kit (front-of-jersey) sponsorship placements,” the report stated.
Andy Chatterley , co-founder and CEO, MUSO said: “Piracy audiences have too long been disregarded as offering no real value to rights holders and distributors, but the reality is that these huge audiences still see the same shirt sponsors and commercials as people watching the game via a licensed channel.
“Clubs and sponsors have never been able to quantify media exposure from unauthorised streaming, which over the years amounts to billions of dollars in unrealized value,” said Brian Kim, general manager, GumGum Sports.
This is a first of its kind study to understand the impact of illegal streaming of Premier League games, on sponsorships and revenue.
In the UAE, piracy has been affecting broadcast service providers. Most recently, OSN moved to axe its Pehla channel and cricket coverage.
A statement from the company read: “Illegal streaming sites, pirate IPTV decoders within OSN’s licensed territories, has made it difficult for OSN to continue offering Pehla.”
All Pehla packs will be discontinued and further subscriptions stopped from July 15, the day after the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.