Real Madrid – Barcelona: A classic marked by piracy on Internet platforms


More than 200% piracy increases while the Classic is played.

More than 200% piracy increases while the Classic is played.

Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

When the Real Madrid-Barcelona ball rolls this Sunday at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, a parallel classic will have been underway for two weeks.

The repercussion of the match causes the illicit content to increase by 200%, those responsible for the office of ‘hackers’ of the organizer of the competition assure EFE.

“A Real Madrid-Barcelona match produces 200% more piracy. We removed 200% more videos. We have a team in Madrid and another in Mexico, and we have to reinforce both”, explains Emilio Fernández to EFEdirector of the content protection area (LaLiga Content Protection) of LaLiga Tech, the company that brings together the technological tools of the association of clubs and with which it offers its services to third parties.

During the 2020-21 season, this department blocked more than 1.5 million videos of content protected by copyright on social networks, 17,000 on instant messaging platforms and another 6,000 on digital storage services..

In addition, it eliminated 32,000 profiles that illegally used the name of La Liga, 9,000 groups that sold illegal IPTV subscriptions, got 600 mobile applications removed and removed from search engines 27,000 illegal streaming websites and 18,000 illegal subscription websites.

The objective is to avoid a practice that supposes for the sector a loss of profit that in Spain alone is calculated at more than $230 million dollars, the amount that the football industry in Spain stops obtaining for those soccer subscriptions that are not paid, according to 2020 calculations by The Coalition of Creators and Content Industries, together with the consulting firm GFK.

A Real Madrid-Barcelona match forces them to reinforce their activity long before the ball rolls. “People are starting to upload videos of old matches, the typical historical goal of (Lionel) Messi or (Cristiano) Ronaldor, so two weeks before we started blocking everything. And when the game ends, we continue. The following week, if there has been a goal or an important play, that continues to be hacked for a while, ” Fernandez explains.

For this reason, the team of about eight people that they have divided between Madrid and Mexico doubles to add up to 15 specialists. With this distribution they can cover content in more time slots and serve their clients in Latin America.

Of all the threats, Internet television services, IPTV, are the ones that generate the most difficulties. “They are the main problem, because through them people consume paid products of all kinds: movies, series, music… And it is the most difficult to block”, Fernandez acknowledges.

“Now in Spain, with the new regulations, we are leading the fight against piracy worldwide, but this is a global problem and we have to go country by country,” admits the specialist in the fight against piracy.

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