An estimated 220,000 households in Portugal watch pay-TV illegally, an increase of 20,000 compared to 2014, according to figures obtained by local newspapers.
The economic crisis is the main reason for the growth in illegal access, as the price of pay-TV packages in general, dropped in the same period.
Consumers pay around €10 to receive a relatively complete TV channel offer, compared to the €50 charged by pay-TV operators.
Two technological factors have also contributed to the rise of piracy card-sharing networks and streaming. In Portugal, users who illegally distribute TV signals commit at least four crimes punishable by penalties that can go up to five years in jail and hefty fines.
It is estimated that losses from piracy for pay-TV operators reach around €600.000 per month.