Sky wins blocking order in UK to bring down illegal streamers of football content

August 1 – Football has won another battle in the fight against illegal streaming of matches in the UK, with Sky Television having won a court order allowing them to enforce blocking of illegally streamed content.

The new blocking order requires UK online platforms to prevent unauthorised access to streams from the broadcaster’s linear channels.

This means Sky will have the authority to take down individual pirate sites during specific times. When the source of the illegal stream is identified via IP addresses or dedicated servers, they are then provided to internet service providers (ISPs) who are now legally obliged to block access to these locations on their networks.

The UK has seen a rise in recent years in the use of internet TV media boxes that facilitate illegal streaming. The boxes come preloaded with software enabling the streaming channels from around the world.

The Premier League has had a court-backed blocking order in place for the past four season. For Sky the blocking order means it can bring illegal streams down of a wider range of content, including other football content, that is being pirated from their channels.

Last season, the Premier League’s UK blocking order stopped or removed more than 600,000 illegal live streams.

In late May, five men were convicted for running illegal streams of Premier League football. The gang, who made over £7 million from the enterprise (they were charging £10 per month for the service), were sentenced to a combined 30 years in prison, including an 11-year sentence for the ringleader, Mark Gould.

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