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EPL piracy still high despite blanket coverage

A new survey of Brits has found that almost 1.9 million people in the country illegally streamed Premier League games in 2020.

According to research from finance comparison site finder.com, 4% of respondents admitted to watch at least one game from the English Premier League without paying. The figure rises to 6% for zoomers aged 18-24, while 5% of millennials admitted to the practice. Of older viewers aged 40-54, 3% admitted to pirating the matches while that drops to only 1% for people aged 75 and above.

While the post-lockdown glut of football has been broadcast in its entirety for the first time, the league’s brief flirtation with £14.95 priced pay-per-view matches have been identified as a key source of the piracy, with it also being reported that the first nine matches averaged under 39,000 buys.

Other sports like rugby and cricket were also pirated by an estimated 1.7 million Brits, with 3% of respondents admitting to pirating events outside of the EPL.

The survey takes an overall look at UK streaming habits during 2020. Unsurprisingly, Netflix was the most popular platform with half of the respondents using the service. Prime Video was in second at just over a third of Brits, while Disney+ – which launched in March – managed an impressive third place with 20% of respondents saying they use the IP-heavy streamer. Sky’s services Sky Go and Now TV were used by 17% and 12% respectively.