Tonight is the final of UEFA's Europa league, with Arsenal going head to head with Chelsea for the privilege of being the best team that wasn't good enough for the Champion's League. People like to tune into to big sports events, and that inevitably leads them to pirate streams - something the police are strongly warning against.
You'd think this message would be a bit redundant, seeing as how BT Sport and Virgin are both giving everyone the option to watch the game without paying a penny, but experience tells us that there are some very dumb people out there.
Detective Chief Inspector Teresa Russell, head of the Intellectual Property Crime Unit at the force said:
“By illegally streaming the match, you never know when the site is likely to be shut down.“It could be at a crucial point in the match.
In fact, enforcement agencies and companies will aim to do just that in an attempt to dissuade people from using illegal sites in the future.”
Obviously watching a non-official stream is very illegal, and the police and football rights holders have been doing a lot to try and stamp out the people behind it. Obviously they have had limited levels of success, but it's not unheard of for an illegal stream to go offline partway through a match - much to the frustration of the people watching.
Of course, when it costs as much as it does to watch sports channels you can't really blame people for taking advantage of a method that also lets them pay for food and shelter. That's assuming matches are actually being broadcast here in the first place, because plenty of them aren't.
As for tonight there's no point getting a stream on to watch the big game. It's free to watch if you already have Virgin TV (even without the sports packages) and through the BT Sport app. BT is even going to far as to stream the final on YouTube, so you don't have to download and sign up for a brand new app you're not going to use again. The same is also true for Saturday's Champion's League final.
DSo don't be a dumbass, and leave the illegal streams alone. The Europa League final kicks off tonight at 6pm. [Independent]