Sports and Apparel

Protection for Online Sports Media

Safeguarding live sporting events, highlights, and other content.

Sports content remains highly prized. An international fanbase and digital channels are expanding its accessibility. But its unique value makes it vulnerable to media piracy.

The compelling nature of its on field content and unique on screen characteristics make it a media format that retains its live appeal. With many sports finding an increasingly global fanbase, distribution rights have similarly grown. The sums involved have exploded. English soccer is a prime example, with international broadcast rights for the Premier League valued at around $6.5 billion, surpassing the value of domestic rights for the first time.

Sports media remains the pinnacle of premium, and global distribution rights and diverse viewing options have increased its appeal – as well as its vulnerability.

There are more ways to watch than ever, thanks to over-the-top platforms and the role social media plays in serving and signposting content. It’s not all about live action either. Highlights play a key role, particularly on digital channels. Around 40% of fans aged 16-29 want to watch sports content unrelated to a game. Into this world has come non-fungible tokens, allowing iconic clips of sports action to be monetized into the market.

Putting a stop to piracy must be done in a way that preserves fan appeal.

Sports piracy is prolific. 2 million people in the UK illegally streamed a Premier League soccer match in 2020. In the US, a single sports event was hit with over 1,900 illegal live streams. Technology has empowered the pirates. They operate over multiple hidden channels and use social media to host and promote. In such a hostile climate, it’s tempting for rights owners to clamp down decisively. But take down a legitimate stream and brand reputations can be damaged. Content sharing, particularly by younger fans, is also part of sport’s viral appeal.

OpSec safeguards live sporting events, highlights, and other sports media.

  • Protecting the premium in live events.
    Live events are time limited in appeal and relevance. So speed of detection and intervention is essential, as is the ability to operate at scale, globally. OpSec takes an active approach, monitoring search engines, social media platforms, and hundreds of known infringing sites. We suppress pirate links in search results and remove most pirate streams promptly. We also enact dynamic injunctions to act in near real-time.

  • Monetizing content over multiple channels.
    For OpSec, content protection continues long after the final whistle. We clean up search results by using user-centric search delisting, monitoring known pirate sites, and enforcing against infringements. All of which makes it less likely that an audience will find pirated material. Our visual AI helps us discover and take down infringing media to quickly remove archive footage, highlights, and video-on-demand.

  • Clearing the path to monetize content.
    As prized content has become linked with NFTs, we have extended content protection to the detection and takedown of unauthorized tokens. Exclusivity is key, so when unauthorized NFTs are minted, this content is devalued and fans may be confused. We discover a wider range of infringing NFTs across leading marketplaces, achieving a typical takedown rate of around 90% on behalf of our customers.

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