An estimated 9 million fixed broadband subscribers in the United States use a pirate subscription IPTV service. They get these services from at least 3,500 US-facing storefront websites, social media pages, and stores within online marketplaces that sell services.
A report from the Digital Citizens Alliance and NAGRA claims illegal piracy subscription services in the United States have grown into a billion-dollar industry.
NAGRA also found a scheme where the residential Internet connections of pirate IPTV customers could be turned over to other users–who could potentially use them for illegal activities beyond their control, such as accessing child pornography, committing fraud, or participating in cyber-attacks. And in an alarming development, illegal IPTV services enabled Al-Manar, a channel labelled a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity’, to skirt a US ban. While these issues are not the focus of the report, Digital Citizens Alliance intends to conduct further investigation, and ask the US federal authorities to investigate this.
“Understanding the impact and tactics involved in the business of subscription IPTV piracy outlined in this report is the first step in addressing the evolving fight to protect content, the most valuable asset in the media and entertainment industry,” said Michael Sharp, Director, Data Analytics, Anti-Piracy Services for NAGRA.
“We applaud Digital Citizens Alliance for bringing the issue to light as we continue to support content owners and service providers in effectively disrupting pirate activity–through our expertise, our wide range of anti-piracy solutions and the intelligence we have gathered over years of examining piracy ecosystems–to ultimately keep viewers in the legitimate content value chain.”