Premier League set to increase crackdown on illegal streaming following High Court order

The rise of 'Kodi' boxes, which stream live matches to televisions, have become an increasing concern for the Premier League and Britain's leading football providers, such as Sky and BT

Samuel Lovett
Thursday 09 March 2017 13:22 GMT
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores against Leicester
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores against Leicester (Getty)

The Premier league is set to increase its crackdown on illegal streaming after it was granted a High Court order to stop live matches being streamed for free on “Kodi” boxes.

Mr Justice Arnold approved an order for Britain’s top four broadband providers - BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media - to block connections to the servers that host pirated streams of matches.

As a result of the order, the four companies will be legally obliged to shut down the source of illegal streams.

The Premier League is acting with the support of Sky and BT, which each pay millions for every match they broadcast and fear the popularity of Kodi boxes is eroding the value of their spending on exclusive rights.

A Premier League spokesman said: “For the first time this will enable the Premier League to disrupt and prevent the illegal streaming of our matches via Kodi boxes.

“This will enable us to target the suppliers of illegal streams to IPTV boxes, and the internet, in a proportionate and precise manner.”

The Premier League has also been gathering intelligence to trigger arrests of people supplying Kodi boxes.

Earlier this week, a man was caught selling “fully loaded” Kodi boxes at pubs around the country and was subsequently handed a suspended prison sentence alongside a £250,000 fine.

A Sky spokesperson added: "We are pleased the English Premier League's application to crack down on illegal streaming has been granted.

"Content piracy is theft and the success of this application is an important step in tackling the issue.

"It's in the interests of both consumers and everyone working in the creative industries that we all take piracy seriously.

"We'll continue to work with rights holders, government, online market places and content creators to tackle today's piracy and make people aware of the risks it presents and the damage it causes."

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