4.5m Italians watch pay-TV illegally
December 3, 2018
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
An estimated 4.5 million Italians aged over 15 illegally watch live sporting events, in a total of about 21 million acts of piracy carried out during 2017. The Fapav-Ipsos data reveals that football remains most pirated, with three out of four pirates watching football matches, followed by Formula 1, MotoGP and tennis.
Illegal IPTV services are used by one-third (35 per cent) of the pirates watching movies, series and TV programmes, and by 23 per cent of total live sports pirates (about 1 million users). On average, users pay €10-€15 per month for a subscription to an illegal IPTV service.
From an economic point of view, the picture is even more alarming, according to the researchers. In 2017, the losses for companies in the sector as a result of piracy were estimated at over €1 billion, a figure which translates into a loss of about €370 million in GDP, and 6,000 jobs.
According to Gennaro Vecchione, General of the Division of the Guardia di Finanza (financial police), the phenomenon has had “a devastating impact for the sector”. The National Prosecutor of Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terrorism, Maria Vittoria De Simone, emphasised that it is necessary to implement the same guidelines as in the fight against the Mafia, starting with the “follow the money” rule.