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Analysis: $28 billion ‘goldmine’ in stopping sports piracy

Research found that OTT sports streaming services stand to gain $5.4 billion by employing anti-piracy measures

Research by Ampere Analysis, on behalf of Synamedia, has found sports service providers and rights holders could unlock up to $28.3 billion in new revenue each year by reducing sports piracy.

The online quantitative study of over 6,000 sports fans aged 18-64 was undertaken in March 2020 Ampere. Consumers were pre-filtered and chosen based on their experience of watching sport on TV. The study was run in 10 markets: Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, UK and USA.

The research looked at how different illegal viewers respond to anti-piracy measures. It found that OTT sports streaming services stand to gain $5.4 billion, or 19 per cent of the total amount of new revenue, with the balance up for grabs by other pay-TV providers.

With an understanding about pirate users’ motivations and behaviour, service providers can target interventions – such as disrupting streams and incentives – at those viewers most likely to switch to legitimate services, said the report.

According to the survey, 74 per cent of sports fans are willing to switch from illegal streams if a legitimate alternative is available and if the illegal streams become unreliable. The study found that those who would switch away from illegal streams tended to be younger and are often families with young children. They are avid sports viewers with many watching 10 or more different sports using connected devices.

“After years of growth, a recent downturn in rights fees has been exacerbated by the pandemic, hitting sports rights hard. But just as the value of rights is being eroded, there is now the prospect of creating new revenues by converting illegal viewers into paid subscribers,” said Yael Fainaro, senior vice president of security at Synamedia. “While previous attempts to value the revenue leakage from sports streaming piracy took a crude approach, we now have the detail to develop targeted approaches and the tools to deliver quantifiable results, ensuring every investment hits the jackpot.”

The full report can be found here.