Streaming things online is not a new thing, but as hosting and bandwidth prices plummet the availability of people streaming sport and live TV to people for free has grown enormously. This annoys Sky, BT and the Premier League because they've built a massive business around huge pots of money that they need the public to stuff with their earnings.
But you can see how, in these austere times, people end up cancelling expensive Sky and BT subscriptions and relying on the largely inferior quality illegal streams. Because, let's be honest, Sky, Virgin and BT all hide their sport behind the most expensive packages, forcing users to subscribe to stuff they don't want to watch those all-important matches.
Things are, of course, improving with official apps from the big players that give people access to just sport. But people are always looking for a bargain, and there's no bargain like free. So it's not massively surprising that in a survey of 1000 people BBC Radio 5 Live discovered 36% had streamed sport at least once a month through unofficial methods. While 22% admitted to doing it once per week.
And young people are most likely to stream sport, with a massive 66% of 18 to 43-year-olds admitting to fracturing the law. Some people claimed they didn't know it was illegal, but that's probably total nonsense. Everyone knows football is a premium product that you have to pay for.
So naturally, Kodi's unofficial plugins are always in the press, with Sky going after box sellers and the EU confirming the whole thing is very naughty indeed. Increasingly the Premier League is given the power to pull the plug on servers that stream content. While everyone agrees this is a better way of stopping these streams, at the same time it's never-ending.
So-called Kodi boxes are the thing of the moment, but that won't last forever. All that we can be sure of is that there will always be something around the corner that lets people see things for free. This will annoy the billionaires who control and sell the sport, and the millionaires who get paid for kicking balls about, but it's a reality of life.
Perhaps making the sports more affordable to viewers and not locking increasing amounts of it behind £70-per-month contracts would get piracy down and legitimate viewing up. Sky's taking some steps to address this issue with the likes of Now TV passes, and plans to revamp its sports channels, but we'll just have to wait and see whether that catches on elsewhere. [via: The Mirror]