14 December 2022

New research from FACT has revealed that TV and film entertainment sits at the heart of many Brits’ Christmases, with 54% relying on it to keep the family entertained.

While this comes as no surprise, the research also shows that almost a quarter (23%) of consumers will be tempted to risk their online safety for access to a free stream during the festive season. This is despite many consumers (37%) being concerned about being targeted by scammers this Christmas.

Most viewers rely on satellite television (59%) and online subscription streaming services such as Netflix (57%) to watch content during the Christmas period. Christmas content sits top of the tree during the festive season, with Christmas movies (62%), Christmas TV specials (57%), and Christmas TV re-runs (31%) most popular amongst consumers. However, the upcoming King’s speech (29%) and live sports events (23%) still have a seat around the Christmas dinner table.

However, the period ahead of Christmas is a particularly risky time for consumers. Opentext Security Solutions found that over a third (36%) of all the phishing scams in 2021 happened in the period ahead of Christmas. Their research also exposed the unregulated jungle that is illegal streaming sites, with cybercriminals and scammers using them to plant scams and malware for unsuspecting viewers. Analysis from 50 popular sites discovered that all of them had malicious content and over 40% of them did not have the necessary security certificate, leaving viewers exposed to the dangers of illegal streaming.

Kieron Sharp, CEO at FACT, commented: “Christmas is a wonderful time for families to enjoy TV and film together. As the research highlights, it can be a positive experience for many, helping to bring people together and keep everybody entertained. However, those watching content this festive season need to ensure they are doing so safely. Scammers and cybercriminals are more active than ever at this time, so families are exposing themselves to serious risks if they choose to view content illegally. We recommend that consumers use safe streams, which can be found from the Get it Right from a Genuine Site website.”

 Kelvin Murray, Senior Threat Researcher at OpenText Security Solutions, said: “The festive season is the time for cybercrime, with cybercriminals keen to take advantage of consumers’ increased online activity. Illegal streams are a particular risk, our research has shown they open a gateway for criminals to access bank accounts, commit fraud, and install malicious software. This Christmas stay safe and enjoy your festive films and TV specials through legal sources.”


Research was conducted by Opinium with 2,000 UK adults nationally representative of the UK population. The research was conducted between 21-25th November 2022. Opinium abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

About FACT

FACT are the UK’s leading intellectual property protection organisation protecting brands and businesses against fraud and IP crime.

Established in 1983, FACT are at the forefront of the fight against intellectual property crime in the UK and internationally on behalf of rights holders and content creators. www.fact-uk.org.uk

Mandy Belnick – Head of Communications and Marketing FACT Worldwide

[email protected]

+ 44 (0) 20 8843 8502


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