Commercial broadcasters welcome Parliament’s strong signal to act on live sports piracy

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BRUSSELS, 19 MAY 2021 The Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) welcomes yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament on the Legal Affairs Committee INL Report on “Challenges of the sports events organisers in the digital environment”.

The report represents a powerful signal given by the European Parliament. It recognises the magnitude of the problem of online piracy of live sports broadcasts and the immense prejudice piracy brings not only to sports events organisers and broadcasters, but also to the European economy at large. It also recognises the important role that broadcast of such events play for solidarity, diversity and social inclusion in the European Union.

The report contains balanced safeguards to protect fundamental rights, whilst taking a strong stance against the dissemination of illegal content. We welcome actions in areas such as the need for immediate take-down (no later than 30 minutes) of illicit live sports broadcasts. It helpfully calls for much more effective enforcement of rights, the increasing need of cross-border enforcement, the need for effective notice and action mechanisms, blocking injunctions, and an efficient trusted flagger system.

We therefore encourage the European Commission to take stock of the demands of the European Parliament and to act upon their commitment[1] following the adoption of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive (EU) 2019/790) to provide sports events organisers and broadcasters with sufficiently robust instruments to fight against the illegal streaming of our content. We urge all the institutions to adopt a strong Digital Services Act that will incorporate these principles, and also believe in a targeted instrument to tackle this particular issue. Piracy continues to grow and undermine the value of European live content at an alarming rate, having harmful knock on effects across Europe.