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Friday, August 17, 2012

FA Premier League clamps down on illegal football streams

The Premier League has announced a clampdown on websites hosting illegal streams of matches.
Top-flight officials recently confirmed that 30,000 offending sites were put to an end during the last season, stamping out around 75 streams per match played.

Barclays Premier League officials enlisted the help of a company called NetResult, which scans the web for illegitimate streaming activity and blocks sites at the source, BBC News reports.

"If you want top quality football, it costs money," said a Premier League spokesperson. "It's not just about star performers getting paid well, it's about investment in facilities and youth development."
NetResult's Tim Cooper says that the firm aims to shut down around 80% of illegal streams, as eliminating them entirely has proved problematic.

"It is a case of 'whack-a-mole'. One disappears and another one comes back online," he said. "I'm sure people who've tried to view Premier League content have found that it's not the best experience.
"Streams can lag, they can be shut down, you have to find another one."

Critics of the Premier League's crackdown have pointed out that the governing body fails to provide a cost-effective means of watching all of their team's matches without subscribing to a service such as Sky.

A UK law has been passed meaning illegal downloaders could be sent warning letters and even have their broadband cut off.

Ofcom says it's not yet clear how that applies to streaming, and that no letters will be sent out until 2014.

The manager of one sports streaming site, based in the UK defended his site in an email comparing it to a search engine.

He wrote: "If a person walked up to me in the street and asked directions to Barclays Bank and then went there and robbed it, would that make me a co-conspirator in a bank robbery?

"In reality the person who is doing the streaming is the person who authorities should be chasing."

The Premier League agreed a £760 million a year deal with Sky, and another with BT for the 2013-2014 season earlier this year


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