LaLiga toughens its “Anti-Piracy” strategy in Central Asia

8 months ago Web Desk 0

“Central Asia is a very important market for LaLiga and we hope to grow in this region further and make it the biggest football league in this country,” said Khais Rahmanie who is the LaLiga Representative for Central Asia in an exclusive interview with AsiaPlus.


One of the most important obstacles to protect and promote well our brand and league in this part of the world is the massive problem of illegal channels that are offering the LaLiga matches, whether on social media or the “classic way”: Cable TV.


LaLiga’s commitment to the battle against piracy and utilizing cutting-edge technology to put paid to this scourge are two of the fundamental pillars in place in order to protect one of the organisation’s most important assets: its competitions’ audiovisual rights.


“We are aware that in Central Asia fans are often watching the football matches through foreign channels such as MatchTV instead of their own local channels. We have noticed that the local fans doesn’t even realize that the only official broadcaster in their country is their national sport channels. For instance in Tajikistan our official broadcaster is VarzishTV and in Uzbekistan UzReportTV. All the other channels and platforms are not allowed to broadcast or matches or highlights. In case they are willing to do that they have to obtain a sub-license from these national channels.”


One of the tools that LaLiga has recently implemented in their fifth against copyright violation in the region in Telegram (which is one of the most used platforms in Central Asia to consume football) is “Vento” a powerful Telegram bot which make it easier to identify and report any illegal content that may appear on the video-sharing platform. “Aside from this system, we have been monitoring during the last few two seasons in Telegram, Instagram and other social media platforms in order to detect channels which are using illegally our content. In this context, we have been able to detect more than 50 channels with significant numbers of followers (from 100k to 1M+) which were posting the goals and highlights of the LaLiga channels. These were channels from a wide range of countries, from Iran, Uzbekistan to Tajikistan. For instance, two days ago one of these illegal channels have been permanently suspend thanks to our close collaboration with Telegram” added Khais Rahmanie.


This use of technology and the development of new methods in the fight against piracy are proving fruitful. The numbers are encouraging and reflect the hard work that LaLiga has been putting in: hundreds of thousands of videos on social networks, over thousands of social-media profiles and over dozens URLs with illegal content have been reported as part of the campaign against audiovisual piracy every season.


Even in Russia LaLiga has won an anti-piracy ruling in Moscow to remove its content from three Russian websites that have been illegally streaming Spanish top-flight soccer matches. The domains, and were found guilty of showing pirated broadcasts of La Liga matches in Russia during 2020. In total, the websites accumulated 1.14 million visits per month.


“We hope that the authorities in the Central Asian countries can appreciate our work and help them to create a stronger concept of copyright protection in the region. Fighting actively against these illegal channels and offering a sustainable environment for our official right holders in each country will on the longer term help as well the development football in the region. One of the main sources of income in the football sector is the selling of the broadcasting rights. We as LaLiga are the only “big” European league which has a comprehensive understanding and strategy for Central Asia and specifically in the fight against Piracy. This battle is also of pivotal for foreign investment in the sport sector in this region. For instance we have recently closed an agreement with one of the leading betting companies in the CIS region called “Parimatch” and for these type of companies it is of paramount importance that their exclusive agreement with the Spanish football league is well protected.” highlights the LaLiga representative.


Reviewing several Telegram channels which are posting illegal content shows indeed that it is only LaLiga that has achieved to remove successfully their content due to copyright infringement in these platforms.


As mentioned earlier, “Anti-Piracy” is one of the elements of LaLiga’s strategy to help to promote their brand in the region and to get better in touch with our fans in Central Asia. Aside this, all sort of other projects and events are conducted to achieved this goal. Last weekend LaLiga rolled out the red carpet for ElClásico in seven iconic locations around the world to celebrate the biggest match in world football, FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid and Tajikistan’s as one of them.


The seven Red Carpet locations were carefully selected for both their prestige and entertainment, two characteristics synonymous with both ElClásico and the two clubs, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.


The iconic locations of the striking ElClásico Red Carpet includes seven cities across six continents: Sydney Opera House – Sydney (Australia), Red Fort – Delhi (India), Navruz Palace – Dushanbe (Tajikistan), Tower Bridge – London (United Kingdom), Place du Souvenir Africain – Dakar (Senegal), The Vessel at Hudson Yards – New York City (United States of America) and Torre del Reloj – Cartagena des Indias (Colombia).


Speaking about the campaign, Khais Rahmanie: “We are delighted to place the red carpet at a historic place like Navruz Palace in Tajikistan and show the fans that we are reaching out to them and giving a platform to their country no matter where they are living. Dushanbe was chosen for its heritage in the art of carpets and as one of the most beautiful cities in Central Asia.”.


LaLiga is a global, innovative and socially responsible organisation, a leader in the leisure and entertainment sector. It is a private sports association composed of the 20 teams in LaLiga Santander and 22 in LaLiga SmartBank, responsible for the organisation of these national professional football competitions. In the 2018/2019 season, LaLiga reached more than 2.7 billion people globally.


Source: Asia Plus