International online sports broadcasting company DAZN has joined a global task force that aims to shut down pirated and unauthorized sports streaming operations worldwide. The new group is operated by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), which counts giants like Amazon, Apple, NBC Universal, Netflix, Disney, Sony, and Warner Bros. among its members.
Unauthorized streaming sources can often be the only available option for people to watch certain teams and matches subject to complicated broadcasting deals, locked into high-priced bundles, and blackouts. With more tech and entertainment companies using sports as a sweetener for their services (NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube, MLS / MLB for Apple TV Plus, and Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime are a few examples), they have more reasons to collectively take issue with anyone popping up a free stream.
ACE as a whole had previously taken down IPTV-based service NitroTV, which allegedly charged users $20 per month in the US for a collection of unlicensed streaming content.
ACE was first formed in 2017 as the anti-piracy arm of the Motion Picture Association (formerly known as the MPAA until it dropped the second A in 2019). Now with DAZN, it consists of 53 big media companies.
DAZN, which has many international sports streaming deals from Premier League in Spain to NFL in Canada, joined the new ACE Sports Piracy Task Force alongside Qatari state-owned beIN Media Group. The effort comes after ACE announced it took down a Moroccan-based operation setting up unauthorized FIFA World Cup Qatar streams last year.
ACE cites that sports piracy eats away about $28 billion in annual revenue from broadcasters. The new task force expands on ACE’s worldwide foothold on piracy investigations, which it often collaborates on with governments.
The task force will pursue the criminal operators who are damaging sport at all levels,” DAZN COO Ed McCarthy states in a press release. McCarthy also goes on to claim that many illegal operations collect fans’ credit card info and personal data for other criminal uses.