The Premier League Just Got Permission to Keep Blocking Pirate Sites and Streams Next Season

By Tom Pritchard on at

At times it may feel like rights holders are fighting a losing battle against piracy, especially given how easy it can be at times. But there are plenty of them leading the charge in the counter-attack, especially where sports are concerned. Premier League football is the biggest spectator sport in the world, and there's a lot of money to be made, so it's no surprise that the Premier League itself just got permission to continue blocking pirate sites during the 2018/19 season.

Being a football fan in this country is expensive, and generally requires forking out a load of cash for various levels of access with various services. That's assuming you can watch the game you want to watch, since this country still doesn't allow Saturday's 3pm matches to be broadcast - even though matches are often televised in international markets. So people resort to piracy, and these days IPTV streams are incredibly popular. Even more so given the ease people have been able to purchase what authorities call 'illicit streaming devices' that make finding the streams incredibly simple.

Last year both the Premier League and UEFA received High Court authorisation to make internet providers block access to these streams in real time. That meant they could locate streams as they began and shut them down before the match was over, and making it more difficult for those services to move around and avoid detection. That injunction ended up being a great success and was extended into the 2017/18 season, which again produced excellent results for the Premier League - to the chagrin of football pirates. Now it's been extended yet again, though the application was initially made some time ago.

The order continues to apply to BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, none of whom made any objection to the injunction's further extension. The only ISP there that doesn't operate a legitimate live sport channel, or isn't owned by a company that does, is TalkTalk, and they're hardly the type to object and agitate the companies that do provide its TV customers with their favourite matches.

Apparently the Premier League also provided evidence that convinced the judge that over blocking was not an issue, as well as showing off the effectiveness of the ongoing action against IPTV piracy Unfortunately the details of the injunction are still secret, presumably to stop pirates from being able to do some research and figure out ways round the Premier League's blocking abilities. But it's fair to say that if you tried to access illegal football streams over the past year and had issues, things aren't going to get any easier. [TorrentFreak]