28 July 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Premier League granted season-long blocking order

The UK Premier League has acquired a High Court order that will require UK ISPs to live-block illegal streams of its matches.

ISPs will be required to block any servers that host illegal streams of the matches for the entire duration of the 2017/18 Premier League season.

The Premier League said this will allow it to combat the sale of illegal streaming devices, including pre-loaded IPTV boxes and Kodi boxes.

The High Court granted the Premier League a similar live-blocking order for the final two months of the 2016/2017 season. The Premier League has now revealed that the initiative was “highly effective” with more than 5,000 illicit server IP addresses blocked.

Streaming servers can only be blocked if the Premier League “reasonably believes” it has the “sole or predominant purpose of enabling or facilitating access to infringing streams of Premier League match footage”.

Kevin Plumb, Premier League director of legal services, said: “This blocking order is a game-changer in our efforts to tackle the supply and use of illicit streams of our content."

“It will allow us to quickly and effectively block and disrupt the illegal broadcast of Premier League football via any means, including so-called 'pre-loaded Kodi boxes'.”

He added: “The protection of our copyright, and the investment made by our broadcast partners, is hugely important to the Premier League and the future health of English football.”

Earlier this month, a BBC Radio 5 Live survey found that more than a third of all Premier League fans regularly watch matches through unofficial streams online.

The survey asked 1,000 self-confessed Premier League fans who reported viewing football online between 7 and 15 March.

Some 36 percent of respondents said they stream matches through unofficial providers at least once a month, with 22 percent saying they illegally stream at least once a week.

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