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Sports Piracy Costing Rights-holders AUD$36.5 Billion Annually


Sports piracy is costing streaming providers and rights-holders USD$28.3 billion (AUD$36.5 billion) annually, a report from Synamedia and Ampere Analysis has shown.

The ‘Pricing Piracy: the value of action’ study evaluated the current cost of piracy in sports, along with the potential profit opportunities.

6,000 sports fans were surveyed in the report, with 74% found to be willing to switch from a pirate to a legitimate stream if a pirate feed became unreliable.

It claimed that sports streaming services could boost revenue by 19% if they eliminated piracy.

This figure was determined by analysing demographics who use illegal streaming services, and their willingness to move to legal services, notably when illegal streaming is inconsistent.

The report also elaborated on the key factors of why fans watch pirated content, including complex installations, the difficulty of use, price point, and the ability to watch on only one device.

Senior vice president of security at Synamedia, Yael Fainaro, said that the report can help rights holders make the most out of their investments.

“After years of growth, a recent downturn in rights fees has been exacerbated by the pandemic, hitting sports rights hard,” Fainaro said.

“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.

“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,” he said.

The report comes as major sporting organisations and streaming services aim to crack down on owners of pirating sites and their users.

Notably, the president of the UFC, Dana White, has publicly stated his intentions to catch illegal streamers in the act.

Prior to UFC 257 in January, White delivered a clear message.

“We got one,” White said.

“We got him.

“We’re watching this guy right now.

“All you have to do is turn it on Saturday and we got you, (expletive).

“I can’t wait,” he said.

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