The EPL drama – paving the way for more illegal streaming? Digital piracy of live sports broadcasts in Singapore

Donna Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Along with the rise of digital media technologies, digitisation disrupted and reconfigured the established practices of previously discrete media markets. The erosion of conventional media divisions has resulted in wide-ranging ramifications for sports broadcasts as it shifts from the historically dominant platform of broadcast television to the digital environment of the Internet in the new mediascape. This paper considers how these emergent practices from the advent of media technology have represented significant challenges to the mediascape of sports broadcasts in Singapore. Given the popularity of mediated Western sports in Singapore, it comes as no surprise that the challenge of sports broadcasts piracy is acute in the country. Singapore has an exceedingly high degree of online infringement compared to other countries in the region. Data discloses that Singapore’s per capita infringement ranks first in Asia and fifth highest globally. This paper seeks to review the phenomenon in Singapore, examining the drivers that created the unique market dynamics which shaped the piracy of sports broadcasts in the country. The paper goes on to discuss provisions in Singapore in terms of copyright law and enforcement that are in place for the deterrence of sports broadcasts piracy. It considers the adequacy of these current approaches and concludes with an observation of how Singapore will seek to adjust to the continual digital advancement in its battle against digital sports piracy. The outcome of this assessment helps provide an additional account for its comparison with existing discourse on the challenges of digitisation on sports broadcasts development in advanced capitalist Asian countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-548
Number of pages15
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept 2
Externally publishedYes


  • English Premier League
  • Singapore
  • piracy
  • sports broadcasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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