MultiChoice is hunting down illegal Rugby World Cup streaming sites

MultiChoice has warned those setting up illegal streaming sites for the Rugby World Cup that they are actively being hunted down.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Frikkie Jonker — who is heading up MultiChoice’s efforts to clamp down on illegal World Cup streaming — said that the company is taking illegal streaming situations seriously.

“If you are using another platform, you are opening yourself up to the consequences,” said Jonker.

“As soon as we hear of piracy sites, we close them down.”

As MyBroadband previously reported, South Africans who want legal access to all of the Rugby World Cup matches will need to pay for two months of a DStv Premium subscription — R1,598 if you opt for the streaming-only service.

The SABC will broadcast 16 of these matches — including all Springbok games — free-to-air.

However, many rugby fans want to watch more than the 16 matches available on SABC TV, giving rise to complaints about the steep cost of accessing all 48 Rugby World Cup games.

DStv World Cup streaming vs the world

Access to all 48 matches is far more expensive in South Africa than in many other countries.

In certain countries — including the UK through ITV and in Ireland through RTE and Virgin Media Television — all 48 matches are available at no cost.

In Australia, all of the matches are available through Stan Sport, which costs $15 per month (R183.14 per month). In the USA, the games can be streamed for $5.99 per month (R114.56 per month) through Peacock Premium.

Compared to these deals, it is understandable why many South Africans are unhappy that they must pay R799 per month to access the Rugby World Cup.

Many have called for MultiChoice to offer a dedicated Rugby World Cup package that provides more affordable access to the tournament.

Illegal alternatives appear

Amid these complaints about DStv’s pricing, many other platforms have appeared online, offering more affordable — but illegal — alternatives.

The Sunday Times found one of these platforms, WakaTV.net, on Facebook.

Said the advertiser: “Through Waka you get access to Sky Sports, SuperSport and many, many other channels. You will get a 15-day trial to decide before you continue. Should you want to continue, it will cost R90 a month.”

This service also requires an Android TV Box — costing “between R500 and R900” — after which users can allegedly “download the app and you are in.”

When asked about the legality of the operation, the advertiser responded:

“Let me put it this way, if you like your country and you like rules, don’t use this app.”

MultiChoice responds

Jonker said MultiChoice takes strong steps against illegal streaming adverts made on Facebook.

He said they would ask Facebook to remove the links and might ask the social media giant to shut the community page down where the links were shared.

“If you allow piracy links to be shared on your page, you are an accessory to a crime and cannot complain if you lose your platform.”

MultiChoice has a zero-tolerance policy against those involved in illegal streaming, Jonker stated.

He said that while users might not end up with criminal records, their crackdowns will inconvenience them.

“With the merchants, we push for prosecution to the full extent of the law,” he told the Sunday Times.

Jonker also explained there are two business models when it comes to streaming piracy.

The first is the model used by WakaTV.net and IPTV, which is monetised through hardware sales and subscription models.

The second is web-based streaming, which is monetised through the delivery of adverts.

Jonker said they have launched public awareness campaigns about the problem.

He also said that civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions, and ongoing tech upgrades are a few of the tools they use to tackle the issue.


Now read: Bad news for Rugby World Cup matches on Openview

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MultiChoice is hunting down illegal Rugby World Cup streaming sites