The Premier League scored big after being awarded a High Court order for the upcoming season that will battle unauthorized streaming of games.
The blocking order will compel the United Kingdom Service Providers (ISPs) to stop people from unlawfully gaining access to streams of its matches.
The order empowers the league to fight illegal sale and use of gadgets for example pre-loaded IPTV as well as Kodi boxes.
The Premier League obtained a similar order for the 2016-17 season’s last two months. As a result, over 5,000 server IP addresses that had been streaming the content before were blocked.
Sky and BT Sport are the only companies that hold the live rights for Premier League football. They obtained the rights to stream live matches for the three seasons after coughing a whopping £5.136bn.
Kodi boxes – what are they?
Kodi is a free software created to bring together videos, music, games plus photographs in a single easy-to-use application. This software is actually built by volunteers.
There are certain shops selling set-top boxes plus TV sticks referred to as Kodi boxes, which are already loaded with the software. According to the developers behind this software, it is created to play media or content which is “freely available’ on the internet provided it is legally owned.
But still, it is possible to modify the software using third-party add-ons. These either facilitate access to pirated copies of films and TV series, or provide unrestricted access to subscription TV channels as well as programmes, plus sports events.
Presently, the English top flight League is embarking on copyright protection programme – its biggest ever.
The English Premier Leagues’ anti-piracy endeavours have as well contributed to the shutting down of various prominent applications and add-ons as the law cracks down on them.
The Premier League Director of Legal Services, Kevin Plumb was quoted saying: “This blocking order is a game-changer in our efforts to tackle the supply and use of illicit streams of our content.” He further said: “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” he concluded.
A poll conducted recently for BBC 5 involving 1,000 people revealed the following:
Approximately half of football fans admitted that they have streamed a match online via unauthorized provide; slightly more than one third do so no less than once a month, while one out of five at least once per week
Among the key reasons for this are a friend or family member streaming and they simply watch, the stream’s quality, and because people do not consider sports TV packages to be good value for money
Slightly less than one third of fans are not aware whether streaming live Premier matches online from unauthorized providers is illegal; however another one third think it is always illegal.