Pirated Sports Broadcasts Represent $28 Billion Opportunity

    • Many viewers who watch pirated sports broadcasts express a willingness to switch over to licensed broadcasters.
    • 52% of fans who watch pirated streams are paying to do so.

There is a $28 billion market opportunity for sports broadcasters who can convert viewers who watch pirated content, according to a report from Ampere Analysis and Synamedia.

An estimated 26% of pirated broadcast watchers have no interest in changing their habits, whether for cost or ideological reasons. The rest signaled a willingness to switch over to licensed broadcasters, and 52% of fans who watch pirated streams are paying to do so. 

A related study by the same firms from June found that 84% of sports fans use pirated streaming services at least occasionally, and just over half do so on a monthly basis.

Though the broad trend in sports watching is toward streaming, the report found that only $5.4 billion, or 19% of the total market opportunity, is available to over-the-top streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, some of which are prioritizing sports events.

Amazon gained exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football games in its upcoming broadcasting deal with the NFL, and DAZN has sole rights to several niche sports around the world.

Netflix is taking more aggressive steps to prevent password sharing, including temporarily locking people out of their accounts if too many households are accessing it. With billions of dollars at stake, don’t be surprised if sports streamers follow suit.