According to Sandvine's Global Internet Phenomena Spotlight report focusing on paid subscription TV piracy services, 6.5% of households in North America are accessing pirated live TV services each month, an adoption rate that may cost communication service providers (CSPs) more than $4 billion in revenue this year.
The report is based on data collected from multiple fixed access networks in North America and examines the mechanics, economics and usage drivers of pirated TV services. Other findings indicate:
- Pirate TV services could generate more than $800 million annually for the operators.
- Many pirate TV configurations stream 24/7, whether users are watching or not, resulting in many users consuming more than 1 TB of "phantom bandwidth" across their network each month.
- The Mayweather vs. MacGregor boxing match in August accounted for 80% of all pirate streams the evening it occurred, and the event may have been watched by 1% of all households in North America.
- Premium TV, live sports, news and international content are the main drivers of pirate TV usage.
"Continued adoption of pirate video and television streaming services could lead to increased cord-cutting and create 'cord nevers,' people who never sign up for a standard TV subscription. This will significantly impact CSPs' revenue and profitability, undermining the business models that keep them operating." said Lyn Cantor, CEO, Sandvine.