Up to $28.3 billion in lost revenue is available to service providers and rights holders if they are able to reduce the amount of sports piracy.
A new report commissioned by Synamedia evaluates how different sets of illegal viewers respond to anti-piracy measures. It suggests OTT streaming services can recoup $5.4 billion of the pie with the remainder available to other pay-TV providers.
The report, Pricing piracy: the value of action, uses a detailed model that takes into account all the complexities and nuances of sports piracy viewing. It identifies the demographics and characteristics of those illegal users most likely to convert to legal services, including their reaction when illegal viewing is disrupted.
According to Ampere’s research, 74% of sports fans are willing to switch from illegal streams if a legitimate alternative is available and if the illegal streams become unreliable. The study finds that the converter cohort tends to be younger and are often families with young children. They are avid sports viewers with many watching 10 or more different sports using connected devices. 40% of the converter cohort say they would subscribe to OTT streaming sports services, including single-sport services run by rights owners, with the balance opting for traditional pay-TV services, particularly those that offer exclusive sports rights.
“After years of growth, a recent downturn in rights fees has been exacerbated by the pandemic, hitting sports rights hard. But just as the value of rights is being eroded, there is now the prospect of creating new revenues by converting illegal viewers into paid subscribers,” said Yael Fainaro, senior vice president of security at Synamedia. “While previous attempts to value the revenue leakage from sports streaming piracy took a crude approach, we now have the detail to develop targeted approaches and the tools to deliver quantifiable results.”
Synamedia says the conversion of pirate customers to legitimate ones requires service providers to address the triggers that encourage consumers to seek out illegal services in the first place.
These include a flexible access without complex installations or long contracts, ease of use, and availability on every device in any location, coupled with a price point that is often much lower than a traditional pay-TV service with premium sports tiers included.