Qatar’s premier OTT broadcaster, beIN Sport, has taken a few hits over the past year and although their situation is a unique one, the fact remains that piracy not only impacts broadcasters and content creators but creates a huge ripple effect.
We’ve spoken about beIN media in some previous posts that you can view here. However, the bottom line is that beIN Media was targeted and its content stolen by BeoutQ, who has been illegally rebroadcasting beIN’s live sports content to viewers in Saudi Arabia and selling set top boxes with access to the stolen content throughout the Middle East.
One of the first of the fall-outs was that beIN opted-out of bidding for the broadcast rights to the 2019/2020 season of Formula One in the Middle East region as they felt that their high priced content wasn’t being protected sufficiently by the rightsholders, F1. This decision by BeIN cost F1 an estimated $30-$40 million per year.
Just 4 months later, beIN has now had to lay off 18% of its workforce (over 300 staff) due to the continuous piracy which has significantly impacted their revenues. To those 300 employees who lost their jobs, content piracy is certainly not a victimless crime.
So how can companies prevent piracy?
It’s clear that piracy has a major ripple effect not only for OTT broadcaster and rightsholders but for studios, sports leagues, other content creators and the employees that work for these organizations. Piracy takes many forms, some of which are very difficult to tackle and some that can be dealt with very effectively, such as is the case for geolocation fraud or geo-piracy.
Geolocation fraud or geo-piracy is a type of piracy is where a user deploys a VPN or DNS Proxy in order to access content that they shouldn’t have access because of territory licensing restrictions. In many cases, users can also utilize a VPN or DNS Proxy in order to appear to be located in an area where the content is offered at a lower cost than in their home market. In both cases, geo-piracy and geolocation fraud impact the revenues of legitimate OTT broadcasters and the value of content for rightsholders.
As the market leader in geolocation technology, GeoGuard is an award-winning and Hollywood Studio approved solution for protecting rightsholders and OTT broadcasters from geo-piracy and geolocation fraud. With the increasing use of geo-piracy tools such VPNs and DNS proxies worldwide, it is essential that rightsholders and OTT broadcasters protect their content, not only to preserve the value of the content, but to remain a viable business now and into the future.