5 million streamed Champions League matches illegally; Roma, Bayern, Real Madrid and Liverpool most pirated

Irdeto detected about five million illegal streamers during the duration of the 2017/2018 Champions League tournament.
Facebook/UEFA Champions League

The recent Champions League final was certainly an eventful one, and we’re not just talking about Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos’ foul on Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

Millions around the world tuned in to watch the most important annual event in European football taking place at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev on Saturday (May 26); including many who were watching it illegally, according to Irdeto

Illegal streaming has been an option for those who want to watch football matches without paying, and for that particular game, the cyber security services company found 427 unique illegal streams.

133 were web-based, while 199 were detected across social media channels including Periscope, Facebook and Twitch. The social media streams alone are estimated to have reached 217,000 viewers.

Illegal streamers also took advantage of media player Kodi for illicit streaming plugins, with 95 streams identified on this platform showing Real Madrid claiming its third Champions League trophy in a row.

Rory O’Connor, the senior vice president of cybersecurity services at Irdeto, said:“Criminals have targeted premium sports content such as the European Champions League and are earning a fortune from stealing the rights.”

He also added that those who watch these matches illegally put themselves in danger: “The criminals who profit from these illegal streams have little regard for their viewers and are exposing them to cybercrime, inappropriate content and malware infection.”

The number of illegal streams for the Real-Liverpool final is just the tip of the iceberg for the prestigious European football tournament.

Irdeto reported earlier that nearly five million illegal streamers were detected during the Champions League knockout stages, with games that involved AS Roma, Bayern Munich and the two finalists being the most pirated.

Roma, Real, Liverpool and Bayern’s games were the most pirated.