Illegal broadcasts cost LaLiga €231m in 2020, but pirates are being made to walk the plank

October 26 – A study by broadcast research specialists GfK has estimated that illegal access to digital content cost the Spanish economy €682 million in 2020. Piracy is estimated to have cost Spain €5.34 billion since 2012. The equivalent of 130,000 direct and indirect jobs in the industry.

The figures for 2020 show a 7% drop in access to illegal content, but a stunning total of 5.239 billion pieces of illegal content were still accessed during the year.

The digital piracy study found that more than 90% of the illicit content portals have advertising and more than two thirds of consumers had to register with personal data.

The report found that the book industry is the most affected, with 33% of surveyed individuals accessing pirated novels, followed by movies (26%), music (25%), newspapers (25%), football (23%), TV series (21%), video games (20%), magazines (18%) and sheet music (5%). The total value of this content amounts to €30.892 billion.

Football’s pirates

Spain’s LaLiga has made content piracy a key plank of its rights protection activity and operates its own proprietary software to combat the problem. Content Protection, is a combination of AI-powered monitoring software and over 20 expert analysts who coordinate with online providers and legal authorities to secure the content’s removal.

During 2020, 71 million football matches were illegally viewed, at a value of €282 million, (causing €231 million of damage). However, LaLiga reports that the number of matches watched illegally decreased compared to 2019, where 87 million matches were viewed. However, the number of consumers who access to watch football through illegal portals remained the same.

LaLiga says that Content Protection removed over 1.5 million illegal sources of LaLiga content in the last season, while its team secured blocking orders to 23 different web domains and complaints against the operators of 32 IPTV websites.

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