EUROPE: Sports Piracy and Counterfeiting this summer


Sports Piracy and Counterfeiting this summer

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has recently released alarming data indicating a concerning increase in the illicit consumption of sports broadcasts and the sale of counterfeit sports equipment across Europe. This summer, major events such as the UEFA European Football Championship, the Tour de France, and the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games are expected to attract significant viewership. However, these events also present a substantial opportunity for piracy and counterfeiting activities.

The EUIPO estimates that approximately 12% of the EU population, meaning 54 million Europeans, will resort to illegal sources to watch sports. This percentage increases significantly among younger viewers aged 15 to 24, reaching 27%. Spain stands out as a particularly high-risk market, with 42% of its young population admitting to consuming pirated content, only surpassed by Bulgaria.

The financial implications are severe. The sale of counterfeit sports equipment results in losses exceeding €850 million annually for manufacturers. Furthermore, the illicit distribution of live sports events has a detrimental impact on the financial stability of the sports industry. Intellectual Property rights are a vital source of revenue to support athletes and sports organizations.

The fight against sports piracy and counterfeiting is of critical importance, not only for the protection of economic interests, but also for the assurance of the safety and quality of sports equipment. It is often the case that counterfeit products fail to meet the necessary safety standards, thereby posing a significant health risk to consumers.

As we enjoy this summer’s sporting events, let us pledge to support only legitimate sources and maintain the integrity of the sports industry.

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