ARTICLE: Brazil football event – streaming reality

07 January 2015

The following article appeard in EU Observatory News. You can download the full newsletter here

Many football fans and commentators alike have described this year’s World Cup as one of the most exciting tournaments in the history of the competition. That is a view which is certainly supported by the record numbers of television viewers who followed the action and by the illegal streaming. Let’s examine some figures here... though fully audited figures have to be released, the findings of anti-streaming campaigns already revealed that over the course of the tournament, 20 million fans watched games on illegal websites. Other data collected from the campaigns show that 60 % of viewers unlawfully streamed at least one match on line during the event and the Final was seen by nearly 600 000 illegal viewers. All in all, intelligent security tools deployed during the World Cup revealed that the scale of piracy was such that between 100 000 and 500 000 people tuned in to each game illegally!

Social media networks also played a critical role during the football competition both in positive and negative manner. According to Twitter, there were 618,725 tweets per minute at the end of the final match, which is a social media record. However, security solutions could identify that several of these networks were used by specific piracy groups and links. There is no more need at this stage to demonstrate that piracy IS a reality. The figures show operators and right owners that it is possible to track and fight back via intelligent tools sending take down notices to sites featuring unauthorized content. These solutions will continue to improve over time. In parallel, the fight should also be led by all actors. Not only by the security solution providers, but also by right owners and operators who could for instance make available legal streaming services in order to maximize viewing possibilities for subscribers.

The Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA) con- tinues its mission in that respect, gathering from its members all data, raising awareness, closely working with enforcement bodies, with EU representatives and OHIM.