Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Live Video Piracy - exclusivity ain't what it used to be

In a recent project for a UK rights holder delivered by KLipcorp we analysed the extent of live piracy of a football match. The match was delivered on free to air TV in the UK and worldwide by about 7 further broadcast partners.

We had expected limited piracy due to the free to air distribution in the primary market but were way off the mark in that respect. We found a minimum of 19 illegal streams who were clearly in breach of copyright and in some instances also making illegal use of trademarks - Sky Sports amongst others.

The pirates were using pre-stream ads and Google adsense tools to monetise their activities and in a couple of cases were charging for PPV viewing. YouTube was used as a barker channel to promote illlegal streams. When stripped of rights fees and the lions share of technical costs the Pirates have a pretty attractive model - something that rights holders need to address before their broadcast partners realise that exclusivity "ain't what it used to be".