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Millions managed to illegally stream the Super Bowl on YouTube, Facebook and other mainstream sites

Thousands of pirate streams of last weekend’s Super Bowl were available to view on mainstream sites including YouTube and Facebook, it has been revealed. And between them, they racked up more than 12 million views.

It’s an astonishingly high figure, which doesn’t even take into account dedicated pirate platforms and their potentially even loftier viewing figures.

Piracy tracking firm VFT Solutions detected a grand total of 2650 pirate Super Bowl streams across YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Periscope and Russian social network VK, amnd they attracted more than 12 million views altogether, TorrentFreak reports.

Perhaps surprisingly, the majority of these illegal streams were available to view on Facebook (70.6%). YouTube (20.8%) came next, followed by Periscope (4.8%), Twitch (3.2%) and VK (0.6%).

However, the dodgy streams on YouTube attracted significantly more views − a 62.9% share of those 12 million views (which is roughly 7.6 million). Facebook (22.7%) came next, followed by Periscope (13.1%). The remaining 1.3% of views was split between illegal streams on Twitch and VK.

VFT Solutions adds that approximately 80% of the illegal streams were watched live, and the remaining 20% or so were viewed after the game had taken place, on an on-demand basis.

However, since VFT Solutions stopped monitoring the situation three hours after the game’s conclusion, the actual split may have been slightly less heavily skewed.

Perhaps the one silver lining for anti-piracy organisations was that the duration of more than 60% of these views was less than 15 minutes. As anybody who has ever watched an illegal stream before can testify, they’re often poor-quality and/or unreliable, and it’s likely that many of them were taken down during the game, prompting viewers to look elsewhere for another stream.

Related: Best VPN

“If you take down the streams, what happens to the millions of viewers?” VFT Solutions CEO Wayne Lonstein told TorrentFreak. “They are left to search for other streams. In combination with takedowns, there needs to be education, communication, and redirection to alternative sources.”

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