Premier League football clubs are losing up to £1 million per game due to illegal streaming and piracy according to a new report.
Commissioned by an unnamed club, the joint study was carried out by American sponsorship valuation firm GumGum Sports and MUSO.
Based on eight matches from last season, the report found each match had an average illegal audience of 7.1 million viewers, with more than one million of those from China. The other big markets for digital piracy are Vietnam, Kenya, India and Nigeria. The UK is 11th on the list.
The £1 million per match figure is based on what the total audience – legal and illegal – would mean for pitch-side advertising and kit sponsorship income.
“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,” said MUSO co-founder and chief executive Andy Chatterley.
“Sports rights owners are now waking up to the fact that they are leaving sponsorship money on the table by not measuring, understanding and gaining insight from the piracy audience.”