COVID-19 and the Effects on Piracy - Part 2

Paul Johnson
By Paul Johnson

AntiPiracy | OpSec Online

Welcome to Part 2 of OpSec Online’s COVID-19 Piracy Impact report. As mentioned in our first report, OpSec Online is continuing to monitor all key piracy channels with the aim of sharing observations and analysis of the developing situation. The pandemic has led to global socio-economic disruption and has shown indications of an increase in digital piracy.

In this edition, OpSec Online provides an update and analysis of the following:

  • Piracy data for the Belarusian Premier League: As all major live sporting events are currently postponed or cancelled we have taken the opportunity to monitor and analyze piracy activity for the Belarusian Premier League.
  • The league has continued to play on during this period and announced a number of new distribution deals in China, Russia, Ukraine and India.
  • Prior to COVID-19, the league has a lower broadcast penetration/viewership compared to other sports leagues and competitions so we have provided analysis of the impact in continuing to play during this period and the effect this has had on Piracy.

Monitoring took place on Saturday 04th April 2020 and coverage of the following matches:

FC BATE Borisov vs. FK Ruh Brest (15:30 BST)
FC Dynamo Brest vs. FC Slavia-Mozyr (17:30 BST)

  • Coverage of the BPL two most popular and successful teams FC Bate Borisov and FC Dynamo Brest. FC Bate Borisov won 14 straight Belarusian Premier League titles – spanning from 2006 to 2019.
  • OpSec Online provide monitoring only services to detect infringing streams across streaming websites, P2P and UGC/Social media platforms (for this exercise illegal IPTV services were not monitored).
  • Any stream’s detected no enforcement activity taken.

Top Level Statistics from Coverage as follows:

piracy-stats-updateSocial Media/Forum Observation:

Sports fans demonstrate an appetite for watching Live sports no matter what.


Infringing Live Streams: Per Game


Infringing Live Streams: By Site Type



Infringing Live Streams: Top 10 Platforms


* Note N/A Reason due to limited platform data available in Alexa ranking

Infringing Live Streams: By Video ISP Region


  • Majority of infringing streams detected in Asian from China and Vietnam
  • Eastern Europe New broadcast deals struck and we observed a number of streams on popular Eastern European P2P platform Acestream

The geographic breakdown is based on the Video ISP/DSP of the Platforms which also corresponds with the Streaming Platform geo location as well (e.g. all of the Chinese and Vietnamese Cases are from Platforms focused on those geographic and demographic breakdown).

Infringing Live Streams: By Social Media/UGC Platforms


  • Total views across all Social/UGC platforms 174,483
  • Across all platforms a verage view per stream 948
  • represents 81% of all Social Media/UGC streams detected

Social Media/UGC Examples

Illegal IPTV Services Examples

Social Media/Forum Observation: Illegal IPTV services demonstrating quick to make available new live content and examples of Sports fans sharing how to access.


Summary of Coverage

  • Significant number of views observed via Social Media/UGC platforms Average 948 views per stream.
  • Given the low broadcast penetration/viewership compared to other Sports Leagues and
    competitions there were significant volumes of infringing streams detected.
  • This highlights an appetite from football fans to watch any live football no matter what.
  • Big interest from Asian territories 79% of infringing streams detected from the region.
  • Non Compliant platform highlighted as one of the biggest problem 40% of all streams detected. This Correlates with the lowering of COVID 19 restrictions in those regions.
  • Illegal IPTV Services quick to adapt and make available new live content available to its paying customers.

Thank you for your continued partnership and please let us know if there are additional ways we can support you throughout these challenging times.

Visit our website for more information about out AntiPiracy solutions.


AntiPiracy, OpSec Online

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson

Paul joined the OpSec Online Anti-Piracy team in 2018 as Strategic Account Manager, AntiPiracy for EMEA. In his current role he is focussed on managing and developing Anti-Piracy programmes with major organisations across the TV, Film and Sports Industries. Previously, Paul has over 15 year’s experience working for FIFA, National Geographic, CNBC and Disney across Content Licensing, Distribution and Protection of TV Channels, Programming and Branded Digital VOD services throughout EMEA.

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