Irdeto said it found that Europe and North America broadcasters were the biggest targets for illegal streams worldwide.
Its research also revealed that several unexpected matches were hot targets for piracy, emphasising that you can’t always predict where piracy will hit, the company said in a statement.
Through the duration of the World Cup from June 12 to July 13, Irdeto’s Network Operations Centre and anti-piracy teams across the globe successfully disrupted approximately 3,743 streams, impacting a potential 10.6 million illegal viewers.
The potential 10.6 million illegal views represented a potential revenue value in excess of US$120.5 million, the company said.
Irdeto’s data identified European broadcasters as the main targets for illegal streams, with 27% of streams detected targeting them. This indicates a clear need for revenue assurance and anti-piracy services ahead of the new Premier League season, the company added.
Interestingly, European piracy was rivalled by North America with 19% of illegal World Cup streams coming from broadcasters in that region.
Social media plays a critical role in online piracy. Irdeto removed 199 live YouTube streams, disrupting approximately 2.5 million viewers.
It also disrupted Facebook accounts or groups with more than two million members that were distributing links to unauthorised live video streams.
During the World Cup, the most pirated match was the semifinal between Netherlands and Argentina, with 252 illegal streams.
Even though this match took place between teams from Europe and South America, it was actually a North American broadcaster whose channel was featured in the most illegal streams.
This reaffirms that consumers will use any online source available, no matter how far away, to watch their favourite match, Irdeto said.
Surprisingly, the World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina was only the 11th most pirated match, with 170 streams.
For more details, click to enlarge the infographic on your right.
The top 5 pirated matches were:
1. Netherlands v Argentina semi-final = 252 streams
2. Brazil v Germany semi-final = 214 streams
3. Russia v South Korea group stage match = 197 streams
4. Chile v Brazil second round match = 193 streams
5. Brazil v Colombia quarter final = 190 streams
As part of its monitoring, takedown and revenue assurance work for customers, Irdeto detected over 150 unique hosting sites which delivered an unauthorised live stream which featured a World Cup 2014 fixture, and over 365 unique linking sites embedding, or linking to, an unauthorised live stream which featured a World Cup 2014 fixture.
World Cup most social sporting event ever: Adobe Digital Index
World Cup broadcasters target 6bil screens, 4.7bil devices: Ovum
Phishers and scammers targeting the World Cup: Kaspersky
For more technology news and the latest updates, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Like us on Facebook.