UK ISPs to block illicit streaming of Premier League Football

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Premier League Football

In these days of streaming media afforded by service like Netflix and Showmax, I’m convinced that the primary reason many people clutch on to their DSTV subscriptions is so that they can watch sport. People are happy to shell out what to me seems like too much money every month, purely for the privilege of watching people kick, throw, and hold on to balls.

If there were easier legal and, of course, even illegal means to watch big-ticket sporting events, I’m convinced many people would drop their DSTV subscriptions. It turns out (naturally), that there are ways to watch sports – like Premier League Football – online through the magic of streaming. The broadcasters who pay millions and millions of Pounds to secure broadcasting rights aren’t happy about it.

And now, the UK’s High Court has approved a piracy clampdown order that’ll see the country’s four biggest ISP’s block such streaming at an ISP level. Sky, BT, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media are now legally required to block servers that stream Premier League football games

“The new block will enable a proportionate and targeted restriction of content that would otherwise have been proliferated to unauthorised websites and IPTV devices,” said the Premier League following the court order.

Much of this piracy has been enabled through the sales of fully-loaded Kodi set-top boxes. Kodi itself, a robust suite of media-watching software is perfectly legal. It started its life as media watching software for the original Xbox, called XBMC. With the right add-ons, Kodi can be set up to stream just about anything in ways that are both legal to use, and also very much the opposite. Selling such boxes, already set-up to illicitly stream content falls on the illegal side.

“We will continue working with ISPs, government, and other sports content producers to protect consumers from illegitimate services that offer no recourse when services are removed, provide no parental controls and, in many instances, are provided by individuals involved in other criminal activity,” the Premier League said.

It’s hard not to side with the media companies in this case. They pay millions just for the rights to broadcast sport, so having people watch them without the appropriate licences certainly stings. I have, however, largely maintained that many (but not all!) pirate purely because it’s easier – not because they’re averse to paying. If these companies set up easy-to-use, paid streams, I’m sure people would make use of them.

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Last Updated: March 13, 2017

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Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • It is a difficult position for the media companies. I personally would like to pay Liverpool directly just to watch their games but they aren’t legally allowed to stream their own matches.

    So my only option is to pay DSTV over R900 a month to watch 3-4 games a month which is just ludicrous.

    So I’m left either heading to the pub to watch the important games or using my parents account and streaming online.

    • Guild

      I’m happy to pay for streaming services and use my family’s DSTV account to stream what little sport I watch.

    • miaau

      I have tried that and it seems vaguely possible, but rights this and rights that seem to prevent it in reality.

      Been in contact with two English clubs, via e-mail, on this issue in the last two years

  • Captain JJ

    Though I don’t watch soccer, or any of these types of sport, I think it’s about time we see some decent streaming services. It really is the only reason why some people still get DSTV.

  • HvR

    I’m not really the bleeding heart and everybody is equal comrade type; but it is actually on the fooking sick side.

    Ludicrous amounts of money paid to paid TV services, which pays for exclusive TV rights, to pay sportspeople millions of dollars per minute to touch a ball so that clubs with budgets bigger than most poor countries medical services budgets to lift an old ass cup.

    And people still wonder why kids from poor rural areas are not taking up sports which can only be seen on almost R1000/month.

    Cutting the crazy DSTV cord this month since the fixed pricing plan is coming to an end. Watching CongoKyle stopping AK bullets with his head and unicorn otto-boy unable to get a proper twitch stream running will have to do as my weekly sports watching.

  • miaau

    I cancelled DSTV almost two year ago.

    I can tell you: Sport is expensive to watch on TV. I can watch some sport, legal streaming, but premier league soccer is not one of them, not without a super-sport username and password or something. Man. Sky sports, via e-mail, seemed willing to sign me on last year, but the price, in pounds, means that we may as well get DSTV back.

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