ACE launches sports piracy task force
May 9, 2023
By Colin Mann
Live-sports streaming service DAZN, has joined anti-piracy coalition the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) to tackle the piracy operations that threaten the sports broadcasting and streaming industry.
In welcoming DAZN, the coalition is launching the ACE Sports Piracy Task Force. The task force will further enhance and coordinate ACE’s efforts to target sports piracy operations and, working with law enforcement and other partners, pursue enforcement actions that disrupt and shut them down.
The task force so far includes DAZN and international sports broadcaster beIN Media Group, who joined ACE in 2022. Working with beIN, ACE has targeted several sports piracy rings in the past year, including the successful shutdown of a notorious Morocco-based operation just days before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, for which beIN was the official broadcaster in the Middle East, North Africa and France.
Adding DAZN and creating the task force expands the coalition’s focus on the growing threat that large-scale piracy operations pose to live sports broadcasters, distributors and leagues. According to a study from Synamedia/Ampere, addressing global sports piracy could amount to an additional $28 billion (€23,7bn) of annual revenue for the industry.
DAZN becomes the 53rd company to join ACE since the coalition was formed in 2017; more companies in the media, entertainment and sports broadcasting sectors are expected to join in the coming months.
“Intellectual property theft of live sports content is an industry issue, negatively impacting all sports and sports fans, and it needs a global concerted effort to meaningfully tackle it,” stated Shay Segev, DAZN Group CEO. “ACE is the natural home for the Sports Piracy Task Force, given their track record, reputation, and experience in delivering effective programmes of action.”
“Working with ACE, beIN, and other broadcasters and rights holders, the task force will pursue the criminal operators who are damaging sport at all levels, often using fans’ credit cards and data illegal purposes. DAZN stands with ACE in the fight to eradicate the global theft of content,” added Ed McCarthy, DAZN Chief Operations Officer.
Charles Rivkin, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association and Chairman of ACE, said the coalition is proud to welcome DAZN and to launch the ACE Sports Piracy Task Force. “With every new member, ACE grows stronger and better equipped to protect the global ecosystem of content creators and broadcasters,” he added. “By joining ACE, DAZN affirms that this is the most effective way to protect their business and worldwide customer base from the threat posed by live sports piracy.”
“The addition of DAZN and the creation of the ACE Sports Piracy Task Force marks a turning point for ACE and confirms yet again that we are the essential partner to anyone who recognizes the threat of piracy to their business,” declared Jan van Voorn, Executive Vice President and Chief of Global Content Protection for the MPA and Head of ACE. “With every new member, our global network becomes more powerful and more effective at targeting and shutting down the piracy operators that threaten the media, entertainment and live sports economy and consumers.”
ACE is powered by a network of experts operating in high-tech investigations and law enforcement, in partnership with local governments and international organisations such as Interpol and Europol, to take on the full supply chain of pirated content.