Piracy in Sport Thematic Research Report 2022: Analysis of How the Sports Industry has Been Affected by Piracy - Sports Piracy is Costing the Industry as Much as $28.3 Billion a Year - ResearchAndMarkets.com

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DUBLIN, May 17, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The "Piracy in Sport - Thematic Research" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

An analysis of how the sports industry has been affected by piracy

While the increased number of ways to watch sports is a benefit to fans, issues have been caused by media rights being split between multiple platforms, most of which require a subscription fee of some sort.

Added together, the combined cost of these platforms has become increasingly more expensive for fans, with complaints about the prices often falling on deaf ears. The ever-increasing value of these various media rights has made the situation much worse and will continue to do so in the coming years.

As a result of increasing prices, many sports fans have begun illegally viewing sports events, with many finding links online to watch live events at no cost. While some of these providers have faced legal issues and the risk of being shut down, the enormous demand means that those who are determined to find a way to view for free will continue to do so. This means that broadcasters are missing out on potentially millions in subscription fees, which is something that is of obvious concern to these platforms.

Pirate streams of sporting events are not difficult to find on the internet and shutting these down has proved to be an impossible task for sports leagues. While legal action has been successfully brought against several illegal streamers, many are still fully operational. When one stream gets taken down, more pop up in its place.

While the answer to combating piracy likely lies through increased legislation, concerns have been raised over how much freedom these laws would restrict online. Previous attempts to introduce an anti-piracy bill in North America were effectively stopped by tech giants for similar reasons.

Viewing habits among sports fans have changed in recent decades, thanks to younger demographics and the increased usage and capabilities of the internet. Younger fans largely watch sports online, but the lack of affordability and legal streaming options in some countries contributes to piracy.

Legal options need to be made available in all countries, and existing options should be made cheaper, with surveys indicating that many who illegally stream would not do so if there was an affordable alternative.

However, this would impact revenues generated by broadcasters and sports leagues, who would be unwilling to potentially lose money. There would also be a wider effect on the media rights market, with the value of rights potentially dropping as a result.

Key Highlights

  • A report released by Synamedia and Ampere Analysis in March 2021 revealed that sports piracy is costing the industry as much as $28.3 billion a year, highlighting the scale of the issue facing broadcasters on a global level. The same study found that 74% of those who currently illegally stream would be willing to switch to a legal source if one was readily available. To make back some of this money, the sports industry must understand what drives people to use pirated streams in the first place. The issue is not a simple one and involves many different factors

  • The most obvious problem is the price point, with many being unwilling to pay the sums of money that subscription models charge monthly. The cost of viewing sport has become more expensive over time due to a variety of factors, including inflation and the increasing value of media rights. In addition, there has been a shift in business strategy in the last 30 years for many sports teams, with many of them becoming more concerned about strong financial performances than anything else. An easy way for teams to increase their revenue is to raise ticket prices, but this has led to many fans being turned away from attending games as they have become increasingly unaffordable. This is also true for viewers at home, who are increasingly being asked to pay expensive subscription fees. Additionally, more streaming platforms and broadcasters are establishing a foothold in the sector, meaning that to watch all the games in a league, consumers have to hold multiple subscriptions simultaneously, which increases the cost significantly

  • The study from Synamedia also revealed that despite 89% of worldwide fans paying for a sports subscription, over half of this group also used illegal means to stream games for free. There are many 'gateway' sports into piracy. For example, the most popular sport in the world is soccer, which is also the most illegally viewed on the internet. Many fans start using illegal streams during major tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions League, and in turn, this leads these individuals to view other leagues illegally. The problem has become so severe in Italy that Serie A officially launched its own anti-piracy campaign to deter piracy. The league has stated their concerns that illegal viewing will lead to the collapse of the current media rights model and will result in billions lost in revenue as well as the loss of thousands of jobs

  • High-profile examples of pirated sporting events include the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor in August 2016, where 239 illegal streams resulted in almost three million views. One stream in particular accrued 986,000 active users at the same time, which equates to approximately $100 million in lost revenue for Showtime, who were broadcasting the PPV event. Additionally, the fight was illegally downloaded by 445,000 internet users immediately after it finished, which is a further blow to the broadcaster considering the money and views that could be generated through post-event coverage


  • This report provides an overview of piracy and how its massive growth has affected the sports industry

  • The current trends dominating sports piracy as well as the trendsetters leading the industry, and which sports leagues and territories are the most affected

  • The report provides a look at the potential future for sports piracy, and ways it can be mitigated

  • An in-depth look at the how the viewership value chain is inherently being detracted from by piracy

Key Topics Covered:

1. Executive Summary

2. Players

3. Thematic Briefing

4. Trends

5. Industry Analysis

6. Value Chain

7. Companies

  • Premier League

  • LaLiga

  • Serie A

  • NFL

  • NBA

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/u59b82

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220517005870/en/


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