The four major French internet service providers concluded an agreement on Wednesday 18 January aimed at combating pirate broadcasts of sports competitions.
“Arcom, the Association for the Protection of Sports Programs (APPS) and the French Telecoms Federation (FFTélécoms, Orange, Bouygues Télécom and SFR) to which the Iliad group is joining, welcome the signing of an agreement between the four main internet service providers and the APPS to strengthen the fight against the illegal distribution of online sports content”announced Arcom in a statement.
In concrete terms, the parties have agreed on “good practices in legal matters but also on the assumption of the costs of the automation of the blocking measures notified by the Arcom on referral of the beneficiaries”continues the regulator.
For a year – as part of the anti-piracy law adopted in September 2021 and effective in 2022 – Arcom received eighty-five referrals from sports rights holders relating to ten sports competitions. Nearly 1,300 illegal sites have been blocked.
“The conclusion of this agreement is the culmination of real teamwork which is now intended to continue, to anticipate the evolution of uses, protect rights and allow their fair remuneration”welcomed Roch-Olivier Maistre, president of Arcom, quoted in the press release. “This signature marks an important step for the protection of sports content in France on which the members of the APPS, bringing together both broadcasters and rights holders, have been able to build and perpetuate their agreement”added Maxime Saada, president of the APPS, also quoted in the press release.
On March 17, the Paris court ordered the blocking by French internet service providers of access to IPTV services (internet television) illegally offering live broadcasts of sports matches.
The economic impact of this piracy is estimated in France at nearly 500 million euros for the rights holders, which are the federations and leagues, as well as for the broadcasters, who thus lose a large number of potential subscribers. The creation of the Association for the Protection of Sports Programs (APPS) in January 2018 failed to eradicate the phenomenon.