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AMSTERDAM – 13 August 2014 – As the opening weekend of the 2014/15 Premier League approaches, broadcasters should take note of some unexpected piracy figures from Irdeto stemming from the FIFA World Cup 2014, which found that Europe and North America broadcasters were the biggest targets for illegal streams worldwide. Irdeto’s intelligence also revealed that several unexpected matches were hot targets for piracy, emphasizing that you can’t always predict where piracy will hit. Through the duration of the World Cup (12 June – 13 July), Irdeto’s Network Operations Center (NOC) and anti-piracy teams across the globe successfully disrupted 3,743 streams, impacting a potential 10.6 million illegal views. The 10.6 million illegal views represented an estimated revenue value in excess of $120 million.

Irdeto’s investigations identified European broadcasters were the main targets for illegal streams -27% of streams detected – indicating a clear need for revenue assurance and anti-piracy services ahead of the new Premier League season. Interestingly, European piracy was rivalled by North America with 19% of illegal World Cup streams coming from broadcasters in that region.

Social media plays a critical role in online piracy. Irdeto removed 199 live YouTube streams, disrupting approximately 2.5 million viewers. Irdeto also disrupted Facebook accounts or groups with more than two million members that were distributing links to unauthorized live video streams

During the World Cup, the most pirated match was the semi-final between the Netherlands and Argentina, with 252 illegal streams. Even though this match took place between teams from Europe and South America, it was actually a North American broadcaster whose channel was featured in the largest volume of illegal streams. This reaffirms that consumers will use any online source available, no matter where it originates, to watch their favorite match.

Surprisingly, the World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina was the 11th most pirated match, with 170 streams. More details can be found in Irdeto’s new ‘Piracy on the Pitch: The 2014 World Cup in Illegal Streams’ infographic. The top 5 pirated matches were:

  • Netherlands v Argentina semi-final = 252 streams
  • Brazil v Germany semi-final = 214 streams
  • Russia v South Korea group stage match = 197 streams
  • Chile v Brazil second round match = 193 streams
  • Brazil v Colombia quarter final = 190 streams

As part of its monitoring, takedown and revenue assurance work for customers, Irdeto detected over 150 unique hosting sites which delivered an unauthorized live stream which featured a World Cup 2014 fixture, and over 365 unique linking sites embedding, or linking to, an unauthorized live stream which featured a World Cup 2014 fixture.

About Irdeto

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Irdeto is the world leader in digital platform security, protecting platforms and applications for media & entertainment, gaming, connected transport and IoT connected industries. Our solutions and services enable customers to protect their revenue, create new offerings and fight cybercrime. With nearly 50 years of expertise in security, Irdeto’s software security technology and cyber services protect over 5 billion devices and applications for some of the world’s best-known brands. Our unique heritage as a subsidiary of multinational media group Naspers (JSE: NPN) means that we are a well-established and reliable partner to help build a more secure future. Please visit Irdeto at

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Irdeto Media Team