In our previous blog we detailed that the cost of content piracy is estimated at over $9 billion in lost revenue to rightsholders and OTT broadcasters in 2019. This figure is set to rise to over $12 billion in the next 4 years, a figure which is especially concerning for live sporting events.
Live sports streaming is now being specifically targeted due to the fact that the industry has yet to determine a set of security standards or to lobby governments to implement serious legislation around content piracy.
This is evident by the numerous websites out there detailing how to use a VPN to illegally access live sporting events (and profiting via affiliate marketing programs) that would normally be geo-blocked to users outside a particular region. Events such as the Rugby World Cup, Premier League and now the NFL are targeted, as reported in this Digital TV Europe article.
The NFL has recognized the negative impact of VPNs to the value of their content and have recently made a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) request to Google to remove 16 URLs owned by VPN companies that “promote the use of their software to illegally stream NFL games.”
Though it is great to see the NFL taking steps to tackle the issue of VPN’s being used to circumnavigate geo-blocks, this is just the first step to what is a very real and costly issue for leagues, rightsholders and OTT broadcasters.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that the easiest way to tackle this issue is to implement VPN/Proxy detection and blocking at the CDN level. We’d be happy to discuss this in more detail with any league or rightsholders.
With the increasing use of geo-piracy tools such VPNs and DNS proxies worldwide, it is essential that leagues, rightsholders and OTT broadcasters protect their content, not only to preserve its value but to remain a viable business now and into the future. As the market leader in geolocation technology, GeoGuard is an award-winning and Hollywood Studio approved solution for protecting leagues, rightsholders and OTT broadcasters from geo-piracy and geolocation fraud.
Geolocation fraud and geo-piracy via VPNs can be easily solved using GeoComply.