Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) – the governing sports body that runs major football leagues in France – has partnered with Viaccess-Orca in a bid to tackle illegal redistribution of its Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 football matches through IPTV networks. The OTT and TV content protection and advanced data solutions company will provide its Anti-Piracy Center services to the football giant, allowing LFP to work with its specialists in video security, investigation, and security audits. Viaccess-Orca has said that the partnership will give LFP effective, tailored security countermeasures for each unique piracy case.
“The French parliament has recently adopted a new law that will allow us to fight more efficiently against live event piracy and request the blocking of illegal services by technical intermediaries such as ISPs,” said Mathieu Ficot, Deputy General Manager at the Ligue de Football Professionnel. “In light of this exciting perspective, we are collaborating with Viaccess-Orca, the expert in anti-piracy services, to protect our premium content and revenues. With VO’s Anti-Piracy Center, we shall be able to monitor the illegal redistribution of LFP content by IPTV networks in real time and request immediate action against piracy.”
In a bid to clamp down on sports content pirating activity, the French parliament adopted a bill earlier this year which has widely been seen as favourable to rights-holders and broadcasters. The bill – “Démocratiser le sport” – contains a legal provision which allows French courts to issue “dynamic injunctions” to immediately block, de-reference or remove pirate website or servers in violation of distribution rights. The injunctions will hold for 12 months and also applies to any “mirror” websites created after it has been issued. In one of the largest financial rulings by a French court, five defendants were ordered to pay to pay €7 million in damages to beIN Sports France, Canal+ and RMC Sport after being convicted of piracy related charges, shortly before the bill passed.
Research conducted by MUSO – a company providing data on unlicensed media consumption – shows that piracy is a major issue for France. In 2020, 4.3B visits to websites with pirated content came from France, placing the republic at 6th place on the global piracy visits ranking, below the U.S. (12.5B), Russia (8.3B), China (6.9B), India, Brazil and Ukraine.
An Ampere Analysis survey of over 6000 sports fans aged between 18-64, revealed that 51% of sports fans consume sports content from pirate services at least once a month. Conducted in March 2020 across ten markets – including Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, UK – the survey also showed that 29% of respondents using illegal sites and services had paid these services for access.