One in Four French Internet Users Indulge in Pirate IPTV

  • Hadopi reports that the problem of pirate IPTV services is France has grown exponentially.
  • French internet users are turning to those services as they’re cheaper and offer more.
  • As this situation solidifies, legal broadcasters are getting pushed out of the market.

According to Hadopi, a French government agency that deals with the distribution and protection of intellectual property on the internet, 24% of French internet users are streaming live TV content through illegal IPTV services. Pirate IPTV service providers are a massive problem for broadcasters, and the effort to crack them down all over the world are intensifying. The Europol is carrying out large-scale international operations, arresting IPTV operators located in various countries, while in the US and Canada, the prosecution has taken an unprecedented extent.

The “Hadopi Law”, which is the French creation and internet law was formulated back in 2009, so expectedly, it is focused around BitTorrent and peer to peer network piracy. IPTV services have gone a long way since 2009 though, and now offer live pirated content feeds through web platforms and dedicated apps. Pirate IPTV services are on the rise in France, as they are all around the world, and the stats of Hadopi’s report are meant to ring the bell that something must be done in order to put an end to the “cannibalization” as they characterize it. Here are the highlight findings of the report:

  • 24% of French internet users stream live TV content through illegal IPTV services
  • 17% are using streaming sites for pirated IPTV content
  • 14% are using social networks to locate illegal IPTV content sources
  • 5% are using a dedicated IPTV box and streaming app
  • 61% are using the unlawful IPTV services for more than three times a week
  • 54% of the pirate IPTV service users have already unsubscribed from a legal offer
  • 66% of the pirate IPTV service subscribers pay less than 100 euros/year for their plan
  • 9% have to pay nothing at all to access illegal IPTV services

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In comparison, legal TV broadcasting services such as the Canal+, SFR Sport, or BEIN Sports can set you back by 750 euros per year, or even more. Even then, the available channels will be far less in number than what is offered by illegal IPTV services, so there can be no competition. Legal broadcasters have to pay a large amount of licensing fees in order to gain the rights to the various channels that they offer, so this cost is rolled over to the user subscription costs. That said, pirate IPTV providers are putting a lot of financial pressure on the legal broadcasters, creating an unhealthy market environment of unfair competition and cannibalism.

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