Fighting Back Against Live Sports Piracy
Watermarking live sports is a game-changer.
Live Sports remains one of the single most valuable forms of content for broadcasters, MVPDs and specialized OTT services. Roughly a third of all TV viewing time is spent on sports, and most of that is done live. Given the ease with which content can be re-streamed online and watched for free, what can be done to protect revenue and ensure that this market remains viable for investment?
Traditional DRM and CAS systems do a good job of ensuring that only legitimate viewers can access content through paid services. But once the video is displayed, it is vulnerable to re-streaming through numerous methods, from the “analog hole” to camcord capture. By embedding an invisible, yet indelible, forensic watermark in each video stream, content that is improperly re-distributed can be traced back to its source. What’s more, by knowing the source, immediate action can be taken to interrupt the pirate stream while the event is still going.
So, how do you go about making watermarking ubiquitous?
Watermarking in the Device Ecosystem
Broadcom, ST Micro and MStar already support watermarking in their chipsets
We recently announced our partnership with Sigma Designs for their next-generation TV chip, capable of UHD and High-Dynamic Range.
Watermarking in the Server Ecosystem
Live Encoder Support
For scalability, the NexGuard Streaming watermark is applied in two steps. The first step is performed during content encoding. Several encoder vendors have already integrated the NexGuard preprocessor SDK and others are forthcoming
CDN Caching of Fragments
Once the watermarked fragments have been generated by the live encoder, then can be packaged for the appropriate ABR protocol, DRM-wrapped, and distributed to your CDN of choice
Streaming Manifest Customization
During session initiation, a unique payload (such as a session or transaction ID) is used to create a custom signature for each stream. This is performed by our SmartEmbedder library, added as a step to the manifest file generation workflow. This payload can be recovered using NexGuard’s Detection Portal
Live Detection for Session Teardown
Monitoring is the Key
Services that monitor the internet to find live streams can be granted access to the NexGuard Live Detection service.
When fed with a constant stream of video, the Live Detection Service begins looking for a watermark payload and within minutes, returns the unique identifier for the source of the pirate stream.
Strike While it's Hot
Armed with the exact source of the stream, the monitoring company can notify the provider (whether MVPD, OTT service or app vendor) with the unique ID extracted in the watermark. Once the offending session has been interrupted, all streams originating from that source are also stopped.