By ttvnews in Mexico City, Mexico
Day 1 of the first Sports Anti-Piracy Summit, a content protection and innovation event entirely devoted to sports, was a great success attendance-wise, boasting a lineup of 70 speakers.
The event organized by ttv Media with media partner ttvnews is hosted by FOX Sports and sponsored by LaLiga, Bundesliga, Genius Sports, LTA Hub and Directv, among others.
After the words of welcome by talent hosts Alberto Lati (FOX Sports) and Marion Reimers (FOX Sports), Juan Lozano Tovar, general manager of Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property, was entrusted with the opening words of the event.
$10 billion in losses
The Summit kicked off with the panel “Piracy in Sports: How big is the problem?”, by Carlos Martínez, president of FOX Networks Group Latin America (FNGLA), and Daniel Steinmetz, Chief Anti-Piracy Officer at FNGLA.
Martínez explained the real dimensions of the issue in figures: about $10 billion in losses caused by piracy.
“As the whole industry gets involved in attacking the issue, we will truly succeed,” underlined the exec.
Meanwhile, Steinmetz pointed out: “We need to be aware of the losses the industry suffers every year on account of piracy. And it is not only internet piracy, but also signal theft, under-reporting, FTA boxes, et cetera. There are countless illegal practices that are affecting our content.”
Steinmetz said that today in Latin America there are 124 LTE networks and that in 2025 they will have 4G and 5G broadband presence in development.
“Practically 100% of the people living in the region -close to 700 million people- will have in their power a tool which we will suffer considering the internet piracy problems we are,” the exec warned.
On the other hand, he made the point that across the world there are practices for combating internet piracy that are “showing us the way”. Such is the case of the Champions League in England.
“Through legal action, dynamic injunctions were issued through vendors, which enabled a judge to order internet providers to immediately take down all the football games being streamed on illegal sites,” explained Steinmetz.
“This set a precedent that we can also use in Latin America. We’re studying them and the idea is to use them shortly as an enforcement measure.”
Another example brought up by the exec was Portugal and the memorandum of understanding between stake holders that partake in the business, “which showed us that self-regulation is possible, which would render legal actions unnecessary,” he added.
A new American Cup?
Next, Yon de Luisa, president of the Mexican Football Federation (FMF, for its acronym in Spanish) delivered a keynote where he highlighted the work of the Federation in terms of education and innovation.
“We do a lot week after week which does not make the news,” said de Luisa.
“A good deal of that effort is shared by LigaMX. We have technological tools for monitoring the physical performance and other variables related to the players’ overall performance,” he exemplified.
Furthermore, the president of the FMF announced that Concacaf and Conmebol are studying bringing forth another continental tournament for national teams.
“(We’re) working with Concacaf and Conmebol on pushing for another continental tournament,” said de Luisa.
2018 FIFA World Cup: 68 IP infringements in LatAm
Then it was time for the keynote “FIFA – Overview of Rusia 2018 and the Qatar 2022 content protection challenge”, by Emilio García Silvero, Chief Legal and Integrity Officer at FIFA, who shared details on the institution’s efforts toward rights protection.
“The Football World Cup final had an audience of 1.5 million viewers around the world, which makes it, along with the Olympics, one of the most watched sports events. And there is clearly a strong link with social media, in terms of association, expansion and development,” the exec commented.
Also, García Silvero explained that FIFA is the owner of the comercial rights linked to the World Cup.
“Those rights are licensed and they generate around 5.5 billion dollars every four years, which are invested in the administration of FIFA and the setting in motion of all the international tournaments organized by FIFA”
How does FIFA protect intellectual property and what criteria are used to protect content? “We guarantee the integrity of the brands we associate with and the rights of our main partners. In this regard, the main goal for us is for piracy to cease,” he stressed.
García de Luisa presented some figures referred to IP infringement, which rose to a grand total of 731 (between May and July 2018): Russia (162), Asia (89), Europe (82), Latin America (68), the Middle East (50), North Americ and the Caribbean (23), Africa (18) and Oceania (2).
Piracy? “We can’t let our guard down”
The panel “The leagues’ unique role in football development: the international market opportunities, the use of technology in football and the challenges of content protection during live broadcasts” featured Enrique Bonilla, president of LigaMX; Carlos Del Campo, deputy director of Presidency at LaLiga; Mariano Elizondo, president, Superliga Argentina; and Jorge Enrique Vélez, president, Dimayor Colombia.
“Our obligation is to generate, from an administrative point of view, all the tools that clubs and players may need for performing the most beautiful of spectacles: football,” said Bonilla.
“Administration-wise, we must ensure fans that players will be able to give their best. It may sound strange but, without a rock-solid, professional administration, it is very difficult for any football club to go places,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jorge Enrique Vélez claimed that the Colombian league presents “worrying numbers” of counterfeit football shirts. “We come up with something and they immediately come up with two ways of stealing it from us.”
Then, Elizondo brought up the foundations upon which the industry must combat piracy. “Piracy is not an issue specific of football but of all sports broadcast on TV. We must stand up for our jobs and the industry as a whole,” he emphasized.
In this respect, Bonilla said that fans must be aware of the magnitude of the issue. “Viewing stolen content goes against their own interest. It creates unemployment and a lack of resources necessary for the industry and the country to grow,” he said.
For the Superliga Argentina president, the key lies in tech, services and fan experience. “We must offer better services for our football to be better. Giving those who come to the stadiums something back, so that it becomes an experience for them as participants of a spectacle.”
Carlos Del Campo agreed with the points made before and asserted: “We have to make football more attractive for fans and make their lives easier. Regarding piracy, the main thing is not to let our guard down.”
Chile: 70% of UC’s online traffic comes from mobile services
In the keynote “Towards a fan-oriented digital shift”, Juan Pablo Pareja, general manager of Club Universidad Católica (UC) from Chile, explained what projects the club has for 2019-2020, among which is the development of a new multi-channel, user-friendly platform where fans can access content, products and services seamlessly.
“The main challenge was to channel all internet traffic to one single website, since we had a news site on one hand and a another site for selling products and services to our fans,” he explained.
“We wanted to enhance the browsing experience of our users, so we specifically hired a consultancy firm so that they would point out our failures to us and give us suggestions for improving,” the exec added.
Pareja emphasized that 70% of UC’s internet traffic is from mobile services used by the club’s supporters.
Next was the panel “Protecting the value of oficial sports data”, sponsored by sports technology firm Genius Sports.
The panel moderated by Percy Wilman, special counsel for LatAm at Genius Sports, and featuring Gonzalo Cilley, president of Resonant Sports, and Diego Dabrio, head of Global Content Protection at Spain’s LaLiga, analyzed the threat unofficial live data collection poses and the main solutions to protect sports’ vital assets.
Vergara: “Chivas TV represented a steep learning curve”
The panel titled “Mexican football teams: the football business in internationalization times” featured Alejandro Irarragorri, president of Club Santos Laguna; Amaury Vergara, EVP at Grupo Omnilife-Chivas; Jorgealberto Hank, president of Club Tijuana; and Rodrigo Ares de Parga, president of Club Pumas UNAM.
“We’re at our most competitive when offering a better content and creating a pre-and post-game experience,” said Vergara. “It has been a major challenge to talk many brands into innovation. That is the only way in which we will be able to compete globally,” he exemplified.
“In times like this, it is not enough to outsource, we need to have in-house experts and expand into areas we are not so knowledgeable about,” added the exec.
“Chivas TV was so tough. It was a steep learning curve, but little by little we’re migrating,” Vergara explained.
And he added: “We must understand nowadays it is not about competing among the eighteen of us. That’s probably the least of our concerns. What matters is how we click with fans and compete against other sports and entertainment options. Mexico shares more similarities with its neighbors in the north than in the south."
“We need to spread the word about our league and about each individual club across the world,” said XXX. “But we must also get to know our fans. What we have learned over the last few years is that the immense majority of US fans are Mexicans, but third- and fourth-generation ones, who want to watch the games in English. It was very important for us to sign a deal with FOX under which all the live games were narrated in Engish,” he added.
Miguel Ángel Gil: How to win 9 titles in 9 years.
The capper of Day 1 was the keynote delivered by Miguel Ángel Gil Marín, CEO of Atlético de Madrid, titled “A club’s reinvention to international success.”
The president of Atlético de Madrid, one of the main pillars upon which the success of Spain’s LaLiga rests, talked about the success of the “umbrella” that shelters Spanish football clubs.
“I’ve always been a loyal supporter. The pride I take on belonging to a brand like Atlético de Madrid has shaped me as a person, mainly due to the values associated with it: effort, loyalty, commitment, solidarity, passion. I incorporated all those values as a person,” explained Gil. “We want the bond we have with players, their family and the fans to remain unchanged,” the exec said.
In connection with this, Gil mentioned that the club adopted a “roadmap” with one essential objective: “Restore the club’s credit status”, capitalizing it to bolster its financial situation.
“Thanks to the investors who believed in me, the club became competitive again” and “it was possible to build a new stadium,” he added.
For the president of “Atleti”, the new stadium has changed “the international image of the club drastically”, because it is a “practical” and “modern” arena.
Furthermore, facilities for 1,500 children were erected. “The goal is to take it to 4,000,” he said. The last step was the global expansion of the club, which has obtained nine titles in nine years.
Since 2003, the club has injected more than 150 million euros as capitalizations, and its membership has increased threefold since 2014, from 42,800 to 127,000 members.
See the full program for Day 2 of #SportsSummitMx here