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Live TV piracy a ‘million-dollar problem’

Sandvine report states speedy adoption rates may cost Communication Service Providers (CSPs) over $4 billion in revenue this year

According to the latest Sandvine report, 6.5 per cent of US households are accessing pirated live TV services each month.

Global Internet Phenomena Spotlight stated that such a speedy adoption rate may cost Communication Service Providers (CSPs) over $4 billion in revenue this year.

The report is based on data collected from multiple fixed access networks in the US and examines the mechanics, economics, and usage drivers of pirated television services. 

According to the report, pirate TV services could generate over $800 million annually for the operators, in part down to the fact that many pirate TV configurations stream 24 hours per day. This, in turn, leads to many users generating over 1TB of ‘phantom bandwidth’ across their networks each month. 

Sandvine pointed to the Mayweather-McGregor boxing match as a serious problem in piracy, with the fight accounting for 80 per cent of all pirate streams on the evening it occured. 

The report stated, somewhat unsurprisingly, that premium television, live sports, news, and international content are the main drivers of pirate television usage.

“Continued adoption of pirate video and television streaming services could lead to increased cord-cutting and create ‘cord-nevers’, people who never sign-up for a standard TV subscription,” said Lyn Cantor, CEO, Sandvine. 

“The active network intelligence that Sandvine provides can help CSPs monitor the threat that pirate TV services pose, while also supporting law enforcement and regulatory efforts aimed at preventing the proliferation of illegal streaming services.”