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New High Court Order Forces UK ISPs to Block More “illegal” Footy Streams

Thursday, July 27th, 2017 (2:43 pm) - Score 3,448
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The English Premier League has won a new High Court Order in London this week that will require broadband ISPs in the United Kingdom to block servers that are hosting “illegal streams” of its football matches, specifically those involving the entire 2017/18 Premier League season.

An existing blocking order for this already exists, although it only applied for the final two months of the 2016/17 season and the new order is effectively an extension of that approach for the new season. The EPL claims that the original order was “highly effective” and succeeded in limiting access to 5,000 servers (IP addresses), which disrupted live streams on various copyright infringing websites and modified Kodi boxes etc.

Kevin Plumb, Premier League Director of Legal Services, said:

“This blocking Order is a game-changer in our efforts to tackle the supply and use of illicit streams of our content,” said Premier League Director of Legal Services, Kevin Plumb. “It will allow us to quickly and effectively block and disrupt the illegal broadcast of Premier League football via any means, including so called ‘pre-loaded Kodi boxes’.

The protection of our copyright, and the investment made by our broadcast partners, is hugely important to the Premier League and the future health of English football.

The ability that clubs have to develop and acquire talented players, to build and improve stadiums, and to support communities and schools is all predicated on being able to market, sell and protect commercial rights.

We are pleased the Courts have recognised this with the granting of this significant blocking Order.”

However the blocks imposed by broadband ISPs (e.g. BT, Virgin Media, Sky Broadband, Plusnet, TalkTalk and EE) are only effective when the end-user doesn’t know how to circumvent them by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), Proxy Server or other method. Similarly the blocked servers usually re-emerge in new locations, although the court order allows for additional blocks to be imposed as that happens and on goes the game of whack-a-mole.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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11 Responses
  1. Kekkle

    Whack-a-mole.

  2. Lee

    They’re going the wrong way about it.

    Offer season tickets for each club so that fans can watch every match on TV.

    They’re going to anyway, so why not try and make some money from them.

    • I always wondered why they didn’t have TV cameras at all matches and each club had their own subscription channel so that fans who didn’t have season tickets could watch their favourite team whenever they wanted. It seems like a logical thing, but corporations had other ideas.

      In the same vein when Time Warner took over America Online (AOL) why didn’t the entire Time Warner back catalogue of movies and tv shows get available for pay-per-view to AOL subscribers? I am sure that the ISP would have been more successful. Alas, corporate politics never work. But then again why doesn’t Sky have a free movie channel and a free sports channel that allows them to promote their premium channels and their content is paid for by advertising – like Film4 and Eurosport respectively.

    • Lee

      Every single premier league game is broadcast in most countries around the world, just not here in the UK.

      That’s the issue the premier league has…. people can now access streams of the overseas channels very easily online, for free.

    • Ste

      100% agree times moved on its time to offer club season tickets so people who cant get to the game can still watch their own team play. Even if they split season ticket money with the club they would still be gettibg more money back the matches are already recorded so no need for extra work

  3. dragoneast

    Given the shenanigans that the football authorities get up to (allegedly, according to reports that emerge regularly) it’s the supreme irony when they lecture the rest of us on morality.

  4. Bob2002

    I thought the league were looking into streaming platforms anyway as subscription TV viewing figures are falling(FT – “Biggest drop in average live viewing numbers since records started in 2010” – 12/6/17)?

    On Saturdays I sometimes watch the US United Soccer League games which are streamed live, and free, on YouTube – and I’ve also watched English teams stream friendlies – streaming, and not satellite dishes/aerials, is definitely where broadcasting is heading.

  5. captain.cretin

    It will be interesting to see if they try to use this to stop mainland European streams from being accessed in the UK; the way Sky tried a couple of years ago.

    Mainland licence streams cost a fraction of what the UK has to pay, so a large number of pubs were streaming channels aimed at ex-pats in Spain

  6. hmmm

    Fail next yawn

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