Italy: Piracy hinders pay-TV growth
November 20, 2018
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Italy is seeking new measures to combat piracy, a phenomenon that has assumed enormous dimensions and is hindering the growth of the pay-TV sector.
The intention is to implement measures introduced in the UK such as blocking the illegal servers during football matches, as Italy has so far only acted against websites and apps, reports daily Corriere della Sera.
In this way, pirates would no longer be able to use servers that also contain legitimate content, making investigations more complex and enabling them to gain time.
During the first 10 weeks of the Serie A, 18,000 illegal streams were intercepted and blocked, a figure that is growing compared to the same period last year. At the end of the previous football season, there were a total of 65,000 illegal streams.
Since the start of monitoring during the 2011-2012 season, illegal streams have quadrupled, and the mechanism has evolved from simple direct links.
Of special concern is the boom of pirate IPTV services, a phenomenon that exploded last year. According to some estimates, there are around 800,000 illegal IPTV users in Italy.
Recently, the Guardia di Finanza (Financial Police) discovered a network in Lecce that offered all-inclusive subscriptions at €10 a month to all pay-TV platforms. Users of illegal IPTV services risk fines from €2,500 to €25,000 and penalties from six months to three years in prison.