Sports rights owners need forensic watermarking technology to safeguard their revenue interests

The growing popularity of live streaming content has also made it the prime target of pirates. However, while live content is under great threat from malicious attacks and illegal distribution, broadcasters use DRM protected content and end-to-end security systems using forensic watermarking to reduce piracy and save critical revenues for the OTT and broadcasting industry.

When it comes to safeguarding live sports content, time is of the utmost essence. As such, the video watermarking solution must be able to quickly identify and remove the infringing content. Sports rights owners must, therefore, employ just-in-time watermarking approaches where the watermark is embedded on the fly and the leak can be identified within minutes. The watermark should also withstand the piracy attacks and work across the key video formats, such as 4K, HD and SD, as well as both traditional and OTT delivery. Once illegal content is identified using video watermarking, the entire network path can be evaluated to determine the host within seconds. The source of the streaming piracy can then be identified by analyzing the subscriber level watermarking.

In addition, network-level watermarking approaches enable broadcasters to quickly identify the licensees and territory pirates on DRM protected content who often source their content during live events. While being robust against a wide range of attacks, network-level watermarking solutions allow the content protection teams to run blind investigations on the content and quickly detect leaks during the sports events.

This process allows content owners to analyze the territory-wise licensing income vis-a-vis the piracy risk, review their content licensing strategy, and thereby manage the risks as well as take the required anti-piracy measures to optimize their content protection investments. Solution providers also offer a combination of network-level video watermarking approaches with content scrambling to take down content once leakage has been identified. Distributor watermarking techniques can also be employed to improve the distributor’s security measures or terminate the agreement with consistently non-conforming distributors.

Lastly, with the rapidly growing numbers of illegal content aggregators and piracy websites, sports rights owners should have a holistic content security strategy in place to identify the latest trends and initiate faster reaction to infringement reports. Detection of the exact source of leakage and monitoring of suspected sites through effective data analysis is thus crucial to any sports content protection solution.

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