Synamedia & Ampere: Half of paying TV sports subscribers still watch illegal sources

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An online study conducted with 6,000 sports consumers between the ages of 18 and 64 across ten markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia was released this week by Synamedia.

More than a third of the most engaged 26% of sports watchers (called “Loyal Stalwarts”) watch pirated programming at least weekly, even though they believe it’s wrong.

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About 90% of the next 31% of fans in a second category called “Fickle Superfans” – mostly in developing markets – access pirated programming weekly.  About a fifth of the remaining 43% of consumers, “Casual Spectators,” also watch content from illegal sources at least weekly.

Access the Ampere Analysis study, “Charting Global Sports Piracy” via Synamedia (signup required).

The study recommended a range of strategies to lure consumers who watch pirate sources back to paid services.  They include extending program availability to broader ranges of devices, more flexible service packages and pay-per-view availability.

Why it matters

Simon Brydon, Synamedia’s Senior Director, Sports Rights Anti-Piracy, said, “Global spend on TV sports rights is set to total almost $50bn in 2020.”

We note that the research was conducted in March 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on sports play.

In any case, given the enormous level of industry investment the production and distribution of sports programming worldwide, infringing use and theft must be better understood and protected against.

[ Note: Synamedia is a Sponsor of Piracy Monitor ]

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