Increase in illegal sports broadcasting during the FIFA World Cup

The 2022 FIFA World Cup saw a marked increase in illegal sports broadcasting in France, despite a substantial free-to-air offer (a third of matches, including all games in France). If the new anti-piracy arsenal available at Arcom for a year has generally proven itself and prompted some sports fans to abandon paid subscriptions, illegal broadcasting remains a common practice in France.

There are no exact figures yet. But logically, the 2022 FIFA World Cup has seen an increase in the use of illegal sports broadcasting in France. “We have seen an increase in piracy since the World Cup started. We expected to mobilize significant resources to protect it.” so said Caroline Guenneteau, deputy general secretary of BeIN Sport, in the middle of the race.

Hacking is back in fashion for the World Cup

The channel actually had the rights to the entire competition (64 posters) and therefore was the only broadcaster of 36 matches in France, TF1 broadcast only 28 unencrypted matches – of course, including the most attractive and all matches of the French team, but enough to satisfy the fan not hard from football.

To make matters worse, many football addicts were not (anymore) subscribers to BeIn, whose football offer is less attractive than a few years ago – a direct result of the fragmentation of the paid sports offer. resort to illegal solutions.

ISP-level blocking, an anti-piracy technique finally effective in France

However, a new arsenal was imposed by France, effective on 1er January 2022 proves to be more effective against major sports streaming platforms and It allows blocking at the Internet service providers (ISP) level. It is true that a good VPN or DNS modification can bypass this blocking, but these methods are beyond the reach of the first user.

Sports news sites’ forums were also full during the feedback contest from fans who finally admitted to being hacked and briefly subscribed to BeIn Sport after disappointing experiences with their first matches being illegally watched.

BeIn is looking for advertising messages for illegal sports broadcasting on social networks

In addition to this blocking at the ISP level, dynamic injunctions allow rights holders to add any site that blocks the same match within minutes if there is a court order against illegal sites broadcasting a sports match. Arcom. Same principle (and same fast efficiency) for mirror sites.

The authorities have even given rights holders weapons adapted to the new consumption methods of illegal broadcasting. Faced with the proliferation of advertisements on social networks, which often show links to streaming sites that work well abroad, BeIn Sport began to monitor these platforms.

After the quarter-finals, BeIN already had 10,000 messages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or TikTok with such links removed, five times more than normal.

82 places It was specifically blocked for the FIFA World Cup. In total, justice and Arcom blocked more than 1,300 pirate sites in 2022.

The French are used to watching sports on pirated services

Still, even if illegal viewing of sporting events has declined this year, sports piracy has become a well-established habit in France.

The January 5, 2023 edition of the Sports Business Observatory thus shows, according to a survey conducted by Statista, that 91% of French people have watched illegal sports broadcasts at least once in the last 12 months. , including July alone for 60%.

Regarding football, 61% of respondents watched the match illegally on an illegal streaming service, and 30% on a legal streaming service.

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