TV Piracy is becoming big business

    TV piracy has become big business since the advent of illegal streaming IPTV platforms, which make it easy to distribute, market and sell illegal subscriptions to thousands of channels.

    Speaking at a mini-conference on the fight against TV piracy, organised by Dutch trade organisation NLconnect, Markmonitor’s strategic account manager anti-piracy Paul Johnson told the audience that the shutting down of a large number of illegal servers (mainly Xtream Codes)earlier this month caused big problems for a large number of illegal IPTV platforms. An email from one pirate outfit called Fysh TV claimed that no less then 50 million pirate customers were affected. Markmonitor research also found that the average subscription to a pirate TV service sells for EUR9.70 a month, so we are talking about a multi-million euro business.

    Johnson also showed how easy it is for viewers to find and subscribe to an illegal service. Showing the example of the app IPTV Smarters, available in both the Apple and Google app stores, getting access to thousands of broadcast and premium channels is achieved within minutes.

    Although the latest anti-piracy action also took place in the Netherlands, Tim Kuik of the Dutch anti-piracy organisation Brein called for Dutch law enforcement to take a more pro-active role in battling piracy.

    Dutch hosting providers are popular among the pirates (during the last raid no less than 93 servers were taken offline), not only because they are reliable and have access to an excellent internet infrastructure, i also seems they are no really paying attention to what is going on on their servers.

    Television piracy is a fraud phenomenon in which encrypted TV broadcasts against payment are offered by criminals without the consent of the rightful claimants. The illegal TV offer often includes both general TV channels and premium TV channels, including (paid) sports channels.

    Although successes are being achieved in the fight against TV piracy, it appears to be a ‘moving target’. In addition to ‘password sharing’, current forms of piracy include illegal online IPTV streams and illegal television content in apps, social media and beyond.

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