The ‘Clásico’, a viewing magnet that increases online piracy by 200%

By Miguel Ángel Moreno

Madrid, Mar 18 (EFE).- By the time the Real Madrid-Barcelona match at the Santiago Bernabéu kicks off on Sunday, a parallel ‘Clásico’ will have been underway for two weeks – that of those fighting illegal broadcasts in LaLiga’s anti-piracy department.

“A Real Madrid-Barcelona match produces 200% more piracy. We remove 200% more videos. We have a team in Madrid and another in Mexico, and we have to reinforce both,” Emilio Fernández, director of the content protection area of LaLiga Tech explains to Efe.

In one year, the department blocks over one million copyright-protected videos, eliminates almost 1,000 applications, removes more than 21 million internet addresses from search engines, reports 650 illegal internet television operators and manages to block more than 2,000 domains that provide illegal content to more than 200 million users.

Their objective is to avoid losses of some 231 million euros in Spain alone, according to calculations of 2020 of The Coalition of Content Creators and Industries, together with the consulting firm GFK. It amounts to approximately one fifth of what Spanish soccer earns from television broadcasting deals.

A Real Madrid-Barcelona match forces the team to step up their activity long before a ball has been kicked.

“People start uploading videos of old matches, the typical historic goal by Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, so two weeks beforehand we start blocking everything. And when the match is over, we continue. The following week, if there has been a goal or an important play, we keep hacking for a while,” Fernández explains.

His workload triples when Real Madrid and Barcelona meet in the most widely viewed match in Spanish soccer.

While Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior, Ferrán Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang try to score goals, they prevent the pirates from scoring as few as possible, in a ‘Clasico’ that lasts much longer than 90 minutes. EFE


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