Javier Tebas: ‘Rights holders are responsible for protecting live content’

Javier Tebas: ‘Rights holders are responsible for protecting live content’
LaLiga President Javier Tebas has called on other sports organisations to do more to protect their content against piracy.

Speaking at Sportel Asia in Macau, the head of the Spanish soccer body said that the fight against the illegal streaming of live sports is still absent of a unified approach, adding that there remains a lack of clarity over whose responsibility it is to protect live content.

According to Tebas, it is the rights holders that are responsible for protecting their own content, with those that do not take an active stance against piracy risking a significant drop in the value of their premium rights decreasing. 

“We are the owners of content so we need to protect it,” Tebas said. “If we want the value to remain or be improved we have to protect against piracy, otherwise the broadcasters will pay less.

“There are some competitors who don’t share this concept. They see the broadcasters as the holders of the rights so they don’t protect them like we are doing.”

Tebas added that LaLiga estimates it loses out on €400 million domestically each season because of piracy, while illegal streaming costs the league as much as €600 million per year internationally.

LaLiga operates its own anti-piracy department and last year partnered with Google to block search results that list known pirate Internet Protocol television (IPTV) services. The league has been making significant investments over the past five years to protect its intellectual property rights and has successfully closed 17 pirate websites in Spain.

“We need to understand the business of piracy," Tebas added. "The companies who are streaming content, what is their business model? Because if you understand their business model you will be able to design strategies to combat them."

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