How to Spot Pirate IPTV

Here's How to Spot (and Avoid) Pirate IPTV

July 13, 2021

As cord-cutting becomes the norm (as we discussed last week), a recurring problem underpinning the market will continue to rear its ugly head: IPTV piracy. Many new cord-cutters are lured in by too-go-to-be-true low prices by private IPTV services, without realizing what going prices are in the market. That can put new cord-cutters at the risk of serious consequences.This week, we'll cover how to spot a pirate IPTV service.

Streamer's Spotlight: How to Spot and Avoid Pirate IPTV

Media piracy is certainly nothing new. But with the rise of cord-cutting and streaming TV, pirates have found significant inroads. Armed with legitimate-looking ads on social media, reasonably well-designed websites, and paid promoters on YouTube, many pirate IPTV providers have been able to rake in millions of dollars.

Back in 2017, we were one of the first to expose one of the biggest pirate IPTV providers,

. Following our report, Set TV eventually closed down and its owner was

in damages to rights holders.

Still, Set TV was around for a few years, and it had thousands of customers, many of whom assumed that it was a legitimate provider. It shouldn't have taken long to determine Set TV was a scam, but for the uninitiated, here are some signs that a cord-cutting service isn't the real deal.

1. The Price Per Channel Is Too Low

Low prices exist in the cord-cutting market, to be sure.

still costs $35 per month, and

per month. But one needs to pay attention to the number of channels, and the type of channels offered for those prices. Sling TV's $35 packages carry around 30-40 channels, with a mixture of sports, entertainment, news, and local broadcast networks. And Philo's $20 package may have nearly 70 channels, but they're all entertainment networks that are much cheaper to offer (no sports, no local broadcast networks).

On the flip side, many pirate IPTV services hundreds of thousands of channels for less than $30 per month, including major sports networks. ESPN alone costs as much as $6 per customer (or more). So an IPTV service promising hundreds of channels that include sports packages for a cost less than the more well-known providers is highly suspicious.

2. No Dedicated App

Outside of price, this is a bit warning sign. If the provider has no dedicated app for major operating systems and devices, it's probably not legitimate.

Yes, major services will get into fights with different device makers. Google's beef with Amazon kept the YouTube TV app off Fire TV devices for years, while Philo took years to finally create an Android app. But a total lack of dedicated apps for


major device or operating system should give you pause.

3. The Service Uses a "Reseller" Program

"Resellers" are those who buy accounts wholesale from IPTV providers and then resell them for a profit. Many IPTV providers only sell their services through resellers, while some use resellers as a way to get others to market for them. It's not unlike a pyramid scheme in some ways, though resellers can and do make money.

It's also a clear sign of a pirate IPTV service. Legit providers, like

, Philo,

, et. al., may use affiliate programs, but they don't do wholesale selling of accounts for reselling.

Those are only three signals you could use to identify pirate IPTV. There are many more.

for more examples.

This Week's Streaming Guide

1. Shark Week Is Here!

Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week is packed with content. Get in, the water's warm (and full of sharks). -

2. True Crime Dr. Death Comes to Peacock

This docu-drama looks into the true story of a Texas doctor who was methodically killing his patients. Available this Thursday (July 15). -

3. New Space Jam Movie Hits HBO Max

The greatest basketball movie of the 1990s returns with a long-sought sequel. Watch 'Space Jam: A New Legacy" this Friday (July 16) on HBO Max. -

4. Apple TV's Musical Comedy 'Schmigadoon' Coming Friday

A couple backpacking in the 1940s discovers a town stuck inside a musical. Streaming this Friday (July 16). -

News and Industry Developments

1. Content Package Reshuffling Making Finding Content Difficult

Everything's there where you want it until it isn't. -

2. Disney Drops Exciting Marvel "What If...?" Preview

The new show will feature unique Marvel shorts. -

3. YouTube TV's Add-on Packages Expand

CONtv, Docudrama, and Dove are now available for $4.99/month. -

4. Amazon + IMBb TV Sign Multi-Year Deal with Universal Studios

Amazon's content library is about to get huge with new, top-rated content. -

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