Serie A: ‘Piracy kills football’
August 7, 2019
By Colin Mann
Italy’s premier football league, Lega Serie A, is taking action against audiovisual piracy, which it describes as “a criminal act” and an increasing plague in recent years, all over the world and in particular in Italy, calculating only that the incidence of piracy among adults in the country exceeds 60 per cent.
The league intends to take a range of actions to combat the phenomenon of piracy and, in particular, against illicit streaming services, from the speeding up of IPTV blocking times by ISPs and hosting sites, to the initiation of a campaign to raise awareness of the issue directly to fans and citizens, as well as requesting the authorities to provide for stricter penalties to those who cause damage not only to the football industry, but to the entire Italian economy.
On the international front, Serie A is actively involved, together with the most important international Federations and major European championships, in the battle against beoutQ, which it describes as an illegal platform that pirates sports and entertainment content.
In the first two days of the Serie A TIM 2019/2020 season, banners will be displayed on the pitch in support of the anti-piracy campaign with the hashtag #stopiracy.
“Serie A is at the forefront of addressing the scourge of piracy,” declared Gaetano Miccichè, President of Lega Serie A. “We must defend football against this criminal attack and make it clear to those who use illegal decoders that they are committing a real crime. The problem is global and damages football at all levels, we are strengthening the tools to identify and counter piracy acts in real time, but it is essential to create a system all together with the help of the Government and telcos.”
“Piracy is a criminal phenomenon, implemented by people who do not realise how serious what they are doing, continuing so will end up destroying the content creation industry or the cinema, TV, print media, but also and above all football, the quintessential premium product,” commented Luigi De Siervo, CEO Lega Serie A. “in Italy alone the estimated cost is over one billion euros per year, with 6,000 jobs at risk, but obviously the problem is not just our country, we are in fact fighting a tough battle, along with FIFA, UEFA and the major European Championships, against the Arab platform beoutQ and all the pirate IPTVs. I want and must remain optimistic so I hope, with everyone’s help, that we will be able to reduce the phenomenon of piracy by saving our football.”