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It is a phenomenon that is growing in France and the rest of the world. Many households use pirate IPTVs which allow them, for a relatively small fee, to access thousands of channels and streaming platforms. And precisely, Pauline Combredet-Blassel, deputy general director of ARCOM, took stock of this practice in France in an interview given to our colleagues at La Dépêche.
A vain fight against pirate IPTV?
We first learn that this piracy technique is quite massive in France, and that it concerns 5% of Internet users according to a barometer dating from last year. The cliché of the Internet user lacking the money to subscribe and who resorts to indirect means also takes a hit.
The typical user of an illegal IPTV is in fact a man in his thirties, fairly well-off, belonging to a higher socio-professional category and living in the Paris region, according to ARCOM.
Pauline Combredet-Blassel also confirms that the use of illegal IPTV is increasing due to the ease of use of these systems. She insists on the fact that these expose Internet users to scams. As for the French authorities, they are engaged in a fight against pirates by notably implementing a blocking of numerous domains. More than a hundred have already been put out of action since 2022.
In April 2022, the new authority was also delighted by the fact that the blocking of sites had led to a drop of 76 ;% of piracy of the Football Champions League in France, the most prestigious football competition in Europe.
However, the fight is far from won. Several studies have in fact shown that if blocking sites contributes to reducing their audience, this does not necessarily generate additional revenue for legal offers. As for Internet users who want to pirate, they always find ways to do so.
Let us also remember that French law is potentially very punitive for IPTV customers. The use of an illegal service is punishable by 3 years of imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 euros. However, the law is of course not applied, and that is good, because it is simply not possible to put 5% of French Internet users behind bars.
On the other hand, repression of pirate platform managers is increasing in Europe. For example, last May, a huge raid was carried out by the Dutch tax police associated with Europol who dismantled one of the largest illegal IPTV networks in Europe. We invite you to reread our article on this subject here.