By the time the first boxing bell has rung, or whistle is blown, the pirate hunters have begun. Before a punch is thrown or goal is scored, they’re tracking illegal streams, scouring sources, issuing takedown notices. When the match is over, they’ll want as many pirates sunk as possible.
Long gone are the days of stealing videos or filming in cinemas; anti-piracy measures have changed immeasurably since the advent of online streaming. When a boxing match, a football game or a fantasy drama airs, it does so into a world where an illegal channel can swiftly divert it to millions of non-paying viewers. For those committing piracy, the rewards can be worth thousands. For those hunting these pirates, defending intellectual property has never felt so urgent.
“If you look at some of the stats,” says Peter Oggel, vice president of technology for anti-piracy firm Irdeto. “Game of Thrones season seven was pirated more than a billion times. The Mayweather McGregor fight; we saw close to 3 million illegal viewers. It’s a quick calculation to see how much money is lost in that.”