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Millions of people are watching the 2014 World Cup using illegal video streams

The landscape of sports broadcasting is unrecognizable compared to what it was 10 years ago. Big companies have gotten into the live stream business, including ESPN and Univision, which stream the World Cup, and Fox Sports, which streamed the Super Bowl earlier this year.

Nevertheless, many people still rely on illegal live streams to get their sports viewing fix. According to TorrentFreak, in their conversations with Viaccess-Orca, a firm which specializes in sending live stream take down notices, millions of people have been watching this year’s World Cup by using such streams, despite the fact that legitimate online viewing methods exist. FIFA, the governing body that runs the World Cup, has gotten involved as well, asking that these sites take down their streams as soon as possible – but to no avail.

To say that Viaccess-Orca has been busy is an understatement. Up to June 27, the firm has sent out 2,000 World Cup live stream take down notices, with a significant amount of success.

“The success rate varies per content platform but overall we manage to get 35 percent of the streaming links disabled before the game ends. I think this is a great success rate, especially compared to direct download sites,” David Leporini, Viaccess-Orca Executive Vice President of Marketing, Products and Security said when speaking with TorrentFreak.

Nevertheless, the existence of illegal live streams persists in notable numbers. For instance, Viaccess-Orca estimates that as many as 500,000 people watch World Cup games while using illegal live streams, with the floor being 100,000 people, on average. The game between Belgium and Russia drew in 471,541 illegal viewers.

Despite the efforts of Viaccess-Orca, the firm expects that more and more people will use illegal streams to watch 2014 World Cup games. Thankfully for them, the tournament will be over in a couple of weeks.