The has come once again – the UK’s Premier League is starting. The Premiership is the biggest and the most famous soccer league on the planet, showing in 212 territories to 643 million homes, making it also the most watched sports league. It is estimated that the international television rights for it make a profit of $2.6 billion every year.
But the League has been in court for a while, trying to force the UK Internet Service Providers to clamp down on internets servers that stream Premier League matches. Recently, they have won the battle.
With this injunction, the staff will be able to flag offending websites and ISPs will block them immediately. This comes from the belief that there has been a growing amount of piracy in recent years and this action should curb it.
This is a second step the League took against piracy. The first was made a few years ago when the League managed to get court’s approval on ISPs blocking well-known streaming and torrenting sites. But this wasn’t enough for the Premiership and they proceeded to fight for ISPs to block sites in real-time during the season that’s about to happen.
Previous injunction allowed the Premiership officials to block access to 5,000 illegal streams, and the success of said action inspired the officials to aim higher.
The gritty details of the new court order are yet to be revealed, but it appears that the order will mainly concern foreign servers showing EPL matches in the UK. According to a statement EPL made, they will be able to serve UK ISPs with a list of offending sites. The court order requires the ISPs to quickly block the illegal streams in real-time.
What the court order doesn’t include is people outside of the UK to watch pirated streams of matches. It also seems probable that the UK residents will still be able to use the illegal streams in case the also have VPNs that allow them to pretend to be in a different country.
Still, there is a possibility for the VPN Ip addresses to be blocked for giving access to pirated streams. But the premium VPN users will have access to thousands of servers located all over the world and it seems unlikely that the EPL will be able to stop users from watching the streams completely.
ISPs are usually not really happy to block access to websites because it is generally bad for business since it annoys customers and costs ISP time and money. But they do have their interest in helping the EPL stop the piracy because most of these ISP also provide pay-per-view access to EPL matches.
This makes it seem like the IPS are working with the EPL, and if it is true, this means that the ISPs are backstabbing their own customers and only care about the money. This may serve as a wake-up call to UK residents.