Viaccess-Orca: 20 Million Watched World Cup on Illegal Streams

PARIS—Viaccess-Orca gathered piracy data during the World Cup that indicated as many as 20 million people watched it on illegal websites. VO said it released a series of reports with detailed information about live-streaming piracy. Throughout a 32-day period, Viaccess-Orca’s Eye on Piracy software monitored every match during the World Cup to collect information about illegal streams, the sources of those streams, and identifying illegal websites, all in real time.

Viaccess-Orca’s reports identified several important facts about piracy, including:
• The number of viewers on illegal streaming websites increased during afternoon matches compared with evening ones based on the fact that most European viewers were still at work without access to a TV set.
• There were a total of 20 million viewers on illegal websites during the entire event.
• Viaccess-Orca sent more than 3,200 takedown notices to pirate site owners.
• Sixty percent of the football event viewers streamed at least one match online.
• Upon the start of the football competition, more than 10 new content platforms appeared among the top five link farms.

Social media networks played a critical role during the football competition both in a positive and negative way. According to Twitter, there were 618,725 tweets per minute at the end of the final match, which is a social media record. However, Viaccess-Orca’s Eye on Piracy campaign identified that social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter were used by specific piracy groups and links. For example, out of 707 takedown notices sent to pirate site owners during a single football match, 51 were sent to content platforms referenced on Facebook.

Based on analysis from the campaign, Viaccess-Orca recommends that legal streaming services should be made available by content rights holders to maximize viewing flexibility for subscribers. To optimize the quality of the viewing experience, the size of the streaming service or CDN has to be set and managed carefully considering certain viewing periods are busier than others. The appropriate scalability measures should also be anticipated in order to absorb any surges in demand.

Viaccess-Orca says its Eye on Piracy actively monitors live video restreaming over the Internet: first by detecting streams suspected of piracy and monitoring the content, then sending legal notices to pirates to cease and desist. Finally, the service gathers proof of infringement and legal evidence about the pirated activity.