Vietnam among top countries to pirate English Premier League matches

By Hoang Nguyen   July 10, 2019 | 10:55 pm PT
Vietnam among top countries to pirate English Premier League matches
A football game is viewed on a smartphone. Photo by Shutterstock/ThomasDeco.
A study of illegal streaming of the English Premier League (EPL) football has listed Vietnam among the worst offenders.

The study by MUSO, a global authority on digital piracy, found China heading the list, followed by Vietnam, Kenya, India, and Nigeria. The U.K. was 11th.

It was done for sponsorship valuation firm GumGum Sports, and found that EPL clubs lose £1 million ($1.25 billion) per game because of illegal streaming platforms around the world. On average, 7.1 million viewers in 149 countries watch EPL games on illegal channels.

The English Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 countries and territories to 643 million homes and a TV audience of 4.7 billion.

Digital piracy is a big threat to the league, which relies heavily on income from live TV deals.

To watch matches in Vietnam, viewers have to buy K+, a pay TV channel which costs VND1.225 million ($52.7) for installation and a monthly fee of VND125,000 ($5.4), which is considered high by many people in a country where the average income is $215 a month.

K+, which has the Vietnam broadcast rights to many major sports events, has been upgrading its systems and training employees to monitor, detect, prevent, and handle piracy.

In football-crazy Vietnam, digital piracy has been an issue, especially when major global events like the World Cup come around, with hundreds of illegal sites and Facebook pages showing games without permission. Many of the sites are registered overseas, making it difficult for Vietnamese authorities to crack down on them, officials said.

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