Live-streaming no longer the elephant in the room as Premier League looks to crack down

It has been reported that a UK man based in the Northumberland town of Blyth has been arrested and jailed for over five years for providing devices that provide users with the means to view illegal feeds of the Premier League from overseas broadcasters.

The case centred around Kodi devices that come with access to illegal streams pre-loaded, something we’ve been hearing a lot about over the last few years.

Broadcasters like Sky and BT Sport will have potentially lost money, and when all is said and done when it comes to all the recent media rights upheaval, illegal streaming will be the elephant in the room.

This case is part of a long pursuit by the Premier League to shut down piracy, as the league secured a court order to tackle these illegal streaming services in early 2017.

It’s also part of a long-running trend towards illegal online streaming. According to a BBC survey conducted last year, more than a third of Premier League fans told the broadcaster they watch regularly watch matches online using some sort of illegal stream.

It’s something of an epidemic, particularly as young fans have a plethora of accessible options that allow them to avoid paying for subscriptions to the broadcasters who have the rights to show the games in the UK. Kodi boxes are just one example, and probably just the tip of the iceberg.

Fans will always continue to pursue cheaper, illegal options to stream games, but this appears to be a step towards punishing those who make them available.

With Premier League media rights fetching lucrative sums, the broadcasters (all over the world) who are shelling out money to pay for the privilege of screening the games will be heartened to see that the league does see this as a serious issue.

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