Theft of an entire TV service highlights the need to protect content from increasingly advanced piracy

Edgeware CMO Richard Brandon features in the July/August 2018 issue of TVBEurope, where he discusses the importance of protecting content – and the huge investments made in producing programming or securing the rights to screen it – from online piracy. In the article What do you do when your multibillion dollar sports network has been stolen?, Richard cites the extraordinary case of beIN SPORTS’ entire network output being rebranded and rebroadcast by local rival beoutQ.

The story highlights the growing value of content – particularly access to premium sporting events – the lengths that people or organizations will go to get their hands on it, and the growing need to protect it. Research we recently commissioned from YouGov found that 39% of the 4000 viewers questioned said they are likely to watch pirated content on-demand by downloading or streaming illegally shared versions of popular films and TV. Half of those viewers however said they would be unlikely to watch pirated content if they knew it was watermarked.

This is where we come in.

Our award-winning forensic watermarking solution integrates directly into our TV CDN technology. A unique code is intelligently inserted into the video bitstream making it invisible to the viewer, but it’s robust enough to withstand video transformations such as recompression and cropping. Built on ContentArmor’s bitstream-based watermarking system, the visual code can be tracked to each individual user and is far more robust than traditional techniques such as manifest-watermarking which can be overridden relatively easily by pirates.

If an OTT service faced this type of situation, it could both watermark its content, and upon detection of a leak, cut off the pirated source stream within a few minutes – killing the illegal service.

Richard’s full article can be read on page 15 of the July/August 2018 issue of TVBEurope magazine. 

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