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LaLiga Content Protection uses Semrush Traffic Analytics API to fight AudioVisual Piracy

About LaLiga:

LaLiga is the top professional division in the Spanish football league system. This private sports association is composed of 20 football clubs and SADs (public limited sports companies) in LaLiga Santander and 22 clubs in LaLiga SmartBank. The company is responsible for the organization of the national professional football competitions.

Business challenge: Fight online audiovisual piracy

With the rising popularity of sports streaming over the past two decades, illegal broadcasting of LaLiga matches has become a serious concern for the competition and the wider industry. The risks of audiovisual piracy include: compromised bank information for users, malware infections, loss of revenue and licensing fees, and damaged relationships with broadcasters and sponsors. 

Based on the European added value assessment (EAVA), in 2019 illegal broadcasting platforms in the EU garnered 7.6 million subscriptions. The generated illicit revenues were estimated at $606 million and avoided annual value-added tax (VAT) of $132 million.

LaLiga has made significant progress combating piracy, creating its own internal department, LaLiga Content Protection, in 2015. This organisation, which forms part of the wider LaLiga Tech offering, designed new technologies to monitor illegal activities and a team of analysts to assist with its removal. During the most recent 2020/21 season, the company discovered and reported 1,481,919 illegal videos, 99% of which were removed from social media sites. 

The company has also focused efforts on disrupting IPTVs and card sharing piracy, two of the most harmful systems to the owners of audiovisual rights. LaLiga Content Protection has reported over 18,684 IPTV subscriptions to Google and 16,353 of these have been deindexed. These efforts also led to the delisting of 22,649 website links from Google Search Engine during Season 2020/21.

Solution: The value of Semrush Integration

Through LaLiga Content Protection, proprietary tools have been created for detecting and removing illegal content such as Marauder, Lumière or Blackhole. To accomplish this work, they depend on data integration from trusted providers, such as Semrush. 

LaLiga Content Protection’s tools facilitate the follow-up, monitoring, and technical analysis of websites suspected of piracy. With integrated Semrush Traffic Analytics data, the tools analyze the traffic of these websites, determining their importance in the landscape of illegal streaming sites, allowing the team to focus their fight against sites having the greatest negative impact.

When it comes to determining the importance of piracy websites in terms of their negative impact, LaLiga Content Protection utilizes Semrush Traffic Analytics data to determine the number of visits, the number of unique visitors, their geographic distribution, and the evolution of these metrics over defined time periods.

Using Semrush data helped develop a workflow for LaLiga Content Protection and get judicial permissions to block websites in Spanish territory via services like Telefónica, a multinational telecommunications company. In 2021, the league blocked 372 websites in Spain (part of them in collaboration with Telefónica).

LaLiga Content Protection as a Global Anti-piracy Leader

As a part of the efforts to stop piracy, the Content Protection team has organized awareness campaigns to explain the significant damage caused by illegally watching audiovisual content.

In addition, Content Protection’s tools and services have been made available commercially through LaLiga Tech, which offers the same audiovisual protection to other leagues, broadcasters and companies who wish to protect the value of their content, as well as their audiovisual and trademark rights. 

As a result, LaLiga Content Protection is fighting piracy on a global scale, taking anti-piracy action in countries such as Uruguay, Ecuador, Mexico, Singapore, Gabon, Perú, Indonesia, Malaysia, Italy and countries in the MENA region. These measures have affected millions of visits to illegal platforms.

Final Words

With the help of Semrush Traffic Analytics data, LaLiga Content Protection has already had a significant impact on piracy globally. And while disrupting sites engaged in piracy is one component of their progress, the impact goes beyond the takedown of individual URLs involved in illegal streaming. 

By uncovering, organizing, and analyzing traffic data associated with millions of illegal streaming websites, they’re developing a deep understanding of the piracy ecosystem as a whole. This groundwork will undoubtedly lead to continued progress in the future. 

Beyond the business benefits, LaLiga also understands their anti-piracy work is good for the game they love so deeply. Defending legal broadcasters, sponsors, and others involved in the business guarantees fans receive the highest quality transmission of each and every game, and ensures the sport will continue to thrive long into the future. 

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