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Mystery numbers/watermark on screen whilst watching live sport

I have recently added TV to my existing VM broadband/phone package and have been loving all the channels available via the V6 box. However, I've noted that whilst watching live sport on BT, Sky & Premier Sports etc, I get some weird on-screen graphic including a mystery number at the top right hand corner of the screen which pops up after every 10 minutes and remains constantly fixed above the channel logo for around 5 minutes. In addition to this, there also appears to be a small teardrop shape at the bottom left of the screen when watching BT Sport and Sky Sports in particular.

I've attached a picture from a few days ago when I was watching live German football on BT. Can someone please have a look at this and explain what the number and watermark signify and whether there is actually anyway I can have these removed from my screen? I've already chalked out a hefty sum for my TV package so the last thing I need is for some weird on screen graphic spoiling my viewing experience.

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Re: Mystery numbers/watermark on screen whilst watching live sport

They are all part of security measures used by the channels to combat piracy. It's a requirement from the broadcasters and the same happens if you're a BT or Sky customer too.

The teardrop shape is a watermark that identifies that the channels are being broadcast on Virgin Media. It's a similar reason as to why Pub subscriptions have the pint glass.

The numbers are also part of broadcast security, and you also get the same if you're a BT or Sky customer. They're used to help track down any illegal re-broadcast of channels.

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Re: Mystery numbers/watermark on screen whilst watching live sport

Thanks for clarifying. I completely understand the use of those numbers but is there anyway I can have the little teardrop shape removed from my screen when watching BT and Sky Sports? 

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Re: Mystery numbers/watermark on screen whilst watching live sport

Hi No. Regards Micky
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Re: Mystery numbers/watermark on screen whilst watching live sport


@eagleeye786 wrote:

Thanks for clarifying. I completely understand the use of those numbers but is there anyway I can have the little teardrop shape removed from my screen when watching BT and Sky Sports? 


As stated above. The identifier is there to prevent fraud & as part of the agreement with the broadcaster it cannot be removed. This identifier, plus the code at the top of the screen means any illegal rebroadcast over the internet is traceable back to its source.

What is the point of a security measure if anyone that doesn’t like it can simply turn it off? A bit like leaving a switch inside your front door so a burglar can turn your alarm off should one break in? 🤭

Virgin BB TV Landline. Freeview/Freesat HD, Virgin Mobile, Tesco Mobile. Cable customer since 1993

I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more

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Re: Mystery numbers/watermark on screen whilst watching live sport

Good point I guess. I see you’ve mentioned the little watermark identifies where the stream is being broadcasted, just wanted to ask if other services like NOWTV and Amazon have their own watermark when broadcasting live sports on Sky and BT?

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Re: Mystery numbers/watermark on screen whilst watching live sport

Yes, I believe there is similar watermark on streaming versions of Sky Sports.
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