An estimated 217,000 viewers watched the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool via an illegal stream on social media, according to new figures from Irdeto.
The digital platform security company said it detected 427 unique illegal streams redistributing games over the internet during the match. Of this total, 133 were web-based streams, while 199 streams were detected across social media channels including Facebook and Twitch. The social media streams are estimated to have reached 217,000 viewers.
According to Irdeto, 95 streams were identified on the Kodi platform.
Rory O’Connor, senior vice president of cybersecurity services, Irdeto, said: “Criminals have targeted premium sports content such as the UEFA Champions League and are earning a fortune from stealing the rights. This makes it crucial for content owners, rights holders and platform owners to work together and enlist technology and proactive services to take down streams in real-time.
"The criminals who profit from these illegal streams have little regard for their viewers and are exposing them to cybercrime, inappropriate content and malware infection. Also, viewers of illegal content can face criminal penalties if they decide to share content with friends on social media."