Italy: 2021 IPSOS/FAPAV study says piracy of live sports is €267 million

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According to a study by IPSOS for Italy’s Federation for the Protection of the Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries (FAPAV), an anti-piracy organization, while legal media offerings have become increasingly broad and competitive, piracy among both adults and adolescents has increased, by 43% and 51% respectively.  And paradoxically, despite that growth in audience (more pirates), the frequency of piracy is down (fewer acts).    

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Among Italian adults, films are most frequently viewed (29%), followed by series programming at 24%.   Piracy of live sports programming increased from 2019’s 10% to 15% in 2021.  While P2P and downloads have decreased, the number of consumers using ‘IPTV’ streaming portals was up sharply, from 10% to 23% over the same two year period.  41% of pirates used shared credentials to access legal content platforms.

The two year span of the study coincides with the span of the COVID pandemic, and estimated that there were about 72 million instances of piracy, at a cost of €673 million, for film, fiction and series programming.  It separately estimated that there were about 11 million instances of sports programming piracy, at a cost of €267 million.  The study also estimated that the government lost about €319 million in tax revenue.

Despite the size of the problem, consumers are increasingly aware that piracy is a crime and carries risks.  36% of piracy visits were to blocked sites, and 43% of the consumers visiting those sites turned to legitimate alternatives.

The findings were presented at a meeting in Rome.  

Read the full FAPAV press release, June 21, 2022 (Auto-translated to English from Italian by Google Translate)

Why it matters

The research presented today … highlights how the phenomenon of piracy in our country is constantly evolving with a shift in the preference of pirates towards live sports content, confirming a trend that had already begun to manifest itself in the last few investigations,” said Federico Bagnoli Rossi, President and General Manager of FAPAV.

“For this reason… we also wanted to consider the economic damage caused by piracy to the sports sector. Alarming numbers that, like FAPAV, we wish to monitor with increasing attention, to support the audiovisual and multimedia content industries since piracy represents a brake on the country’s competitive development, as well as a serious economic, social and employment problem.”

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