ACE initiates sports anti-piracy task force with beIN Media Group and new member DAZN

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The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment launched an anti-piracy task force to focus on the illegal re-distribution of sports programming, in an effort to reduce the estimated $28 billion in revenue being diverted into pirate coffers.

Together ACE and beIN Media Group have targeted multiple piracy operations over the past year, including one in Morocco which was shut down in November 2022, just before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 tournament; for which beIN was the official broadcaster in North Africa, the Middle East and France.

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According to a study from Ampere Analysis commissioned by Synamedia in 2021, 44% of pay TV consumers and 30% of OTT consumers taking illegal services could be willing to convert if a legal alternative was the only option (e.g. if the pirate service was shut down).  That 74% quantifies to the above-mentioned $28 billion, which the report positions as the annual revenue lost by the sports media industry to piracy.  The remaining 26% were seen to lack any potential to convert to a legal service.

More to come

Adding DAZN and creating the task force expanded the coalition’s focus on the growing threat that large-scale piracy operations pose to live sports broadcasters, distributors and leagues. DAZN became the 53rd company to join ACE since the coalition was formed in 2017, with more expected to join in the coming months from across the media, entertainment and sports broadcasting sectors.

Further reading

ACE launches sports piracy task force, welcomes DAZN as newest member.  Press release. May 8, 2023. Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE)

Why it matters

DAZN is the largest global sports streaming platform in the world. The service launched in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan in 2016, Canada in 2017, Italy and U.S. in 2018 and Spain and Brazil in 2019. In 2020, DAZN expanded to more than 200 countries and territories, serving sports fans worldwide with a breadth of live world championship boxing and on-demand original programming.

“Intellectual property theft of live sports content is an industry issue, negatively impacting all sports and sports fans, and it needs a global concerted effort to meaningfully tackle it,” said Shay Segev, DAZN Group CEO.

ACE collaborates with a network of experts operating in high-tech investigations and law enforcement, in partnership with local governments and international organizations like Interpol and Europol, to take on the full supply chain of pirated content.

“Working with ACE, beIN, and other broadcasters and rights holders, the task force will pursue the criminal operators who are damaging sport at all levels, often using fans’ credit cards and data illegal purposes. DAZN stands with ACE in the fight to eradicate the global theft of content,” said Ed McCarthy, DAZN Chief Operations Officer.

“The addition of DAZN and the creation of the ACE Sports Piracy Task Force marks a turning point for ACE and confirms yet again that we are the essential partner to anyone who recognizes the threat of piracy to their business,” said Jan van Voorn, Executive Vice President and Chief of Global Content Protection for the MPA and Head of ACE. “With every new member, our global network becomes more powerful and more effective at targeting and shutting down the piracy operators that threaten the media, entertainment and live sports economy and consumers.”

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