Have you ever wondered about the costs associated with running a large pirate IPTV operation? Well, the recent prosecution of the Flawless IPTV operators has shed light on the matter. The UK’s biggest-ever IPTV prosecution resulted in the conviction of five individuals, with the primary focus being on Flawless IPTV and its operations between August 2016 and May 2018. During this time, the service had approximately 42,000 direct customers who were charged around £10 per month. Additionally, around 100 resellers who had around 20,000 subscribers paid Flawless IPTV £6 each per month. The prosecution believes that Flawless generated gross revenues of roughly £4.6 million during this period. However, the actual figure may be higher as the service began accepting Bitcoin payments in 2018, making it impossible to determine the total amount received.
In terms of outgoings, records from bank and PayPal accounts revealed that between August 2016 and May 2018, Flawless IPTV employed at least 23 people and paid them over £439,300, which represents the largest expense for the operation. Another significant expense was hosting providers, including well-known international corporations, who received over £281,600 for their services between February 2017 and April 2018. In addition, Flawless also spent around £28,000 on app development, £12,200 on Xtream Codes, and various amounts on card-sharing and Sky viewing card suppliers and the WHMCS billing platform. In total, over its 22-month lifespan, Flawless spent at least £818,200 on staff and suppliers, averaging around £37,200 per month to keep the operation online.
While the costs of running Flawless IPTV were high, the real costs extend beyond monetary expenses. This high-profile prosecution and subsequent convictions serve as a warning to those involved in digital piracy, and demonstrate regulatory bodies’ commitment to curbing such activities.
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The costs of running a massive pirate IPTV operation have been revealed following the prosecution of Flawless IPTV operators. Flawless IPTV provided services to around 42,000 customers during August 2016 to May 2018, charging each around £10 per month, and had approximately 100 resellers. The prosecution estimated that Flawless generated gross revenues of about £4.6m, but the actual figure might be higher because it started accepting Bitcoin payments in 2018. Over its 22-month lifespan, Flawless spent at least £818,200 on staff and suppliers, averaging roughly £37,200 per month to keep the operation going.
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