English soccer’s top flight Premier League has been granted an order by the UK’s High Court that will allow it to disrupt and block illegal streams of its matches for the duration of the 2018/19 season.
The order will require the UK’s major internet service providers, including Sky, BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Plusnet and EE, to block and disrupt servers that host illegal streams.
A similar order was granted for the whole of the 2017/18 season, leading to nearly 200,000 illegal streams being curtailed, but the new order will allow the league to block more servers in a more effective manner.
The request for the order is part of the Premier League’s wider anti-piracy programme that includes crackdown on short-form clips and saw 450,000 such Premier League content videos removed from social and digital media outlets last season.
Premier League director of legal services, Kevin Plumb, said: “The ability that Premier League clubs have to develop and acquire talented players, to build and improve stadiums and to support communities and schools, is predicated on being able to market, sell and protect commercial rights.
“This makes the protection of our copyright hugely important to the future health of English football and beyond.”
Targeted investigations into suppliers of illicit streaming devices (ISDs) have resulted in significant criminal convictions.
Only last week a Premier League and FACT investigation led to a supplier of ISDs and an illegal streaming service being jailed for five years.