Dataxis debates on piracy impact on live sports broadcasts in Latin America

Dataxis held last Thursday, September 17th a new virtual panel, focused on the online piracy impact on live sports in Latin America. With this focus, the company brought together Matias Rivera, CEO at Fanatiz; Gustavo Lerner, Regional Channel Manager for Latam at Verimatrix; and Pedro Freire, Head of Programming for TyC Sports, who participated in the panel ‘New video sports piracy threats in Latin America’, sponsored by Verimatrix.

‘Piracy goes far beyond an illegal action. We must consider it as one more variable in this business. In addition, we cannot lose sight of the fact that sport, the need to closely follow a team is not only an entertainment issue, but a need among the fans’, Freire reported. ‘We are in an informal process of fighting against piracy that, when it is formalized, it will have several technological challenges, and many others’, he added. According to Rivera, ‘a lot of money is managed in this business. Income sources are subscription charges, especially on IPTV, and it is a big business, because they do not pay for content and they charge for access’, he said. He also reflected about the charging of advertisements within the motivations of piracy streamers.

Regarding the emergence of new pirated IPTV, Freire said that ‘it is not a minority issue, and the losses they generate in a business plan are noticeable’. The executive also reported that, in Latin America, there is piracy over analog cable.

Lerner expressed himself on the role of watermarking in the fight against piracy, and explained that ‘it is a tool that adds, but still does not allow the identification of pirate content’. With regard to actions to combat piracy, Rivera stated that ‘the challenge is so big, but the first and most important thing is to find a legal alternative to access the content. Piracy arises as a need from fans of a certain content who want to access content, and have no way to watch it. As an industry, we must take responsibility to give fans of each content the ability to watch it legally, wherever they are’. The executive has also expressed himself on the need to foster conversations with people who do not know that the services they consume are illegal, and that education and awareness are needed in this regard, as well as the challenge of managing regulations and technologies in favour of identification of piracy.

‘Access to the systems is one of the big issues that affects operators and content providers. Sharing passwords is hardly seen as an act of hacking. It is estimated that 80% of hacking attacks are related to passwords and accesses’, explained Lerner. He also explained that between 20 and 50% of calls to help desks are made by people who forget their passwords, which gives an average cost of USD 70, and is a direct cost for operators.