Illegal video streams of Premier League matches are costing the football clubs in the league as much as £1million per match in the way of lost sponsorship. The findings are part of a research done by UK digital piracy experts MUSO as well as the sports sponsorships and marketing technology company GumGum Sports. The researchers focused on eight matches spanning the 2018-19 season, of an unnamed Premier League club. On average, they say that each match saw an audience of 7.1 million fans in as many as 149 countries. And they say worldwide illegal streaming of the English Premier League (EPL) delivers £1M in uncaptured sponsorship media value per match.
According to the research, the illegal streams served more than 1 million fans per match in China. After China, illegal streaming was most prolific in countries such as Vietnam, Kenya, India and Nigeria. “The global study also broke down its £1M-per-match finding by on-pitch sponsor, noting that, of the seven deal placements analysed, the majority of value came from field-side LED (rotating digital creative) and kit (front-of-jersey) sponsorship placements,” they say.
“Piracy audiences have too long been disregarded as offering no real value to rights holders and distributors, but the reality is that these huge audiences still see the same shirt sponsors and commercials as people watching the game via a licensed channel,” says Andy Chatterley , co-founder and CEO, MUSO. “Clubs and sponsors have never been able to quantify media exposure from unauthorized streaming, which over the years amounts to billions of dollars in unrealized value,” said GumGum Sports general manager, Brian Kim.
This is a first of its kind study to understand the impact of illegal streaming of Premier League games, on sponsorships and revenue. In India, the Star Sports networks holds the broadcast rights for the Premier League matches on television, while the digital streaming is done on the Hotstar app.