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Illegal soccer streaming: Premier League goes on the attack

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The Premier League is the richest league in the world. The television rights negotiated each year easily exceed 2 billion euros. It must be said that the show offered by the English clubs is impressive. The 2018-2019 season was a very good one, with Manchester City at 98 points and Liverpool at 97 points. It therefore seems logical that this championship, which is very popular throughout the world, is also one of the most coveted by pirates.

Use ISPs to block retransmissions

The British authorities and the Premier League are fighting hard against illegal game broadcasts. At the beginning of the year, SoccerStreams, a Subreddit much appreciated by football fans in streaming, paid the price. SoccerStreams, at that time, was one of the largest providers of illegal links.

The page listed dozens of links organized by competition on a daily basis with a peak of activity on Champions League nights and weekends. The Premier League matches had their own sections where links to summary websites broadcasting the matches were shared. Acestream links were also offered via SoccerStreams, which finally closed on Reddit, before migrating to Discord servers.

Soccer TV

Image under CCby0 license

To combat pirate broadcasting in England more effectively, the Premier League also uses dynamic blocking injunctions that it sends to ISPs. The latter can block in real time the servers used by hackers to broadcast matches.

The Torrent Freak website reports that the English League has moved up a gear by asking to extend this method to Irish territory. It has targeted the main British ISPs, namely Eircom, Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone, asking them to respond quickly to blocking orders. This request was accepted this Monday, before the Commercial Court.

What do these injunctions mean for football fans in streaming?

These injunctions mainly concern the British territory. Consumers will not be able to access illegal flows via IPTV services, websites, applications or third-party Kodi extensions. According to the Irish Times, the effects would not be permanent and ISPs would only block access to the sites for the duration of the matches.

Premier League Streaming

Official logo of the Premier League – Credits: Premier League

Note that IPTV providers are allowed to ask the court to unlock their servers if some of their legitimate content is no longer accessible as a result of an injunction.

Despite all these efforts, this is only a small victory for the Premier League, as the most motivated users can easily bypass these geographical restrictions by using VPN solutions.

Sources: Irish Times, Torrent Freak

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