World Cup's unofficial rating: 20 million illegal viewers

If the popularity of an online event or series were measured solely by the number of illegal downloads, the recent World Cup would rank pretty high alongside perennial piracy favorite Game of Thrones. TV Everywhere security vendor Viaccess-Orca said approximately 20 million viewers illegally accessed live-streamed matches throughout the tournament.

The vendor's "Eye On Piracy" initiative tracked illicit streams of each match, identifying their source and websites.

The top four infringers: Iguide, with 407 illegal streams noted; and Leton, Sawlive, and Ukcast, with 143 streams apiece. The vendor noted that it issued a total of 3,222 takedown notices and saw a 35 percent compliance rate among about 100 platforms. Some 160 notices were issued for the Brazil-Croatia game on June 12, and 133, the second-highest number for a single game, were issued during the Germany-Argentina match on July 13.

Viaccess-Orca estimated that for each match, between 100,000 and 500,000 viewers accessed the live stream illegally.

Perhaps surprisingly, Viaccess-Orca's recommendations to content providers don't include an increase in punitive measures. Instead, better access is recommended as a key to combating the problem.

"Firstly, content rights holders could maximise viewing possibilities for subscribers anytime, anywhere, by making available legal streaming services," Efrat Fenigson, senior director of marketing communications, wrote in a blog post. "And secondly, they might increase the quality of the viewing experience by carefully managing the sizing of the streaming service or CDN, given certain viewing periods are busier than others," she added.

Viaccess-Orca piracy hit map

Piracy hit map showing P2P unique viewers globally during Brazil-Colombia match. (Source: Viacess-Orca)

For more:
- see this blog post

Related articles:
Four reasons why TV Everywhere isn't ready for prime time: A simple look at a complex problem
UK scraps its 'three strikes' piracy plan, brings in softer guidelines
HBO tops among cable networks whose content is illegally shared
World Cup's record-setting peaks, minor disappointments set stage for online sports future

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