During the group stage of the 2018 World Cup, cybersecurity firm Irdeto detected nearly 5,100 unique illegal streams over the internet, with games featuring Brazil accounting for more than any other country, with 528 streams.
Morocco was second with 561 streams, Portugal third with 535 streams, Belgium was fourth, accounting for 526 streams, while England came in fifth with 523 streams.
Irdeto said the figures show more work needs to be done to stop the illegal distribution of live sport, with streamers using social media channels like Facebook, Periscope, YouTube and Twitch to illegally access content. A full 3,773 of the 5,088 streams were detected on social media, reaching an estimated 4,292,874 viewers.
“As one of the biggest sporting events around, the World Cup inevitably attracts a lot of global attention from pirates, as well as legitimate viewers,” said Commenting on the findings, Rory O’Connor, SVP of cybersecurity services for Irdeto. “Content owners, rights holders and platform owners must continue to work together and enlist technology and proactive services to take down illegal streams in real-time as we progress further through the tournament. Meanwhile viewers of these streams really must consider the risks they are exposing themselves to by viewing illegal streams, and the potential threat of criminal penalties.”