Illegal IPTV, what they are and what are the risks

Illegal IPTV systems proliferate in Italy. What few people know, however, is that users also risk paying heavily for their behavior

In recent weeks, with two separate investigative operations, the Police have dismantled as many illegal IPTV networks that allowed users to access the programming of pay TV broadcasters or streaming services in the face of a small monthly subscription (usually 10 euros per month, or little more).

Known in jargon as Sky pezzotto, these devices allow access to the channels of the satellite TV operator of the same name and more. Depending on the subscription you choose, in fact, you can also access the programming of DAZN, Mediaset, Netflix and Infinity. The great advantage of illegal IPTV is that, in addition to being particularly cheap, they are also easy to use: you just need a smart TV (or, if you don't have a compatible one, you need the famous "pezzotto") to have access to the channels you want.

No wonder, then, if only in Italy there are more than 2 million users who illegally access the TV programming of Sky, DAZN and other pay services, causing damages for several hundred million euros every year.

What is illegal IPTV

Acronym for Internet Protocol TV (translatable as TV on the Internet), it is a protocol that allows the transmission of TV channels through the Internet. As you can easily see, this technology is not very illegal. On the contrary, those who designed and built it wanted to give Internet users the opportunity to watch TV channels via computer, without the need to have a connection to the TV antenna.

It is the use that is made by some to be, however, completely illegal. Systems such as pezzotto Sky, in fact, exploit articulated technological infrastructures to convert into digital the signal of Sky, DAZN, Netflix and other streaming video services and make it accessible to Italian internet users (and not only).

To access these "services", as said, it is necessary to pay a subscription that varies between 10 and 15 euros and have a device that performs the "reverse conversion" of the signal, allowing you to see the desired program. If you have compatible smart TVs, sometimes it is not even necessary to have a piece of Sky: you just need to download some files from the Net and that's it.

Illegal IPTVs, what creators and users risk

We have to wonder, though, if it is really worth it. The two police operations initially mentioned, in fact, have dismantled two of the most used networks by Italian users. According to the information diffused by the investigators, the two networks could count on more than 600 thousand monthly subscribers that, if they should be individuated (and the investigators have at their disposal useful data and information to trace them) risk a heavy fine and a prison sentence.

According to the ruling of the Court of Cassation No. 46443/2017, those who use illegal IPTV can be sentenced to pay a fine from 2,582.29 to 25,822.26 euros, with the additional risk of a prison sentence of 6 months to 3 years.