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Premier League Targets Dozens of Illegal Streaming Sites in U.S. Court

By , in Anti-Piracy Cloudflare DMCA DMCA subpoena English Premier League Illegal streaming , at December 18, 2023

premier leagueEarly December the English Premier League announced a new broadcasting rights deal worth a staggering £6.7 billion (US$8.5 billion).

Running for four seasons from the 2025-26 campaign, the deal will see broadcasters Sky and TNT take the live games and the BBC continue with its popular highlights package.

Amazon, which has been licensing Premier League games since 2019, hoping to drive customers towards its Prime service, wasn’t awarded a single match. In parallel, UK tabloid Daily Mail has taken a sudden and unusual interest in Amazon Firestick devices during the last two weeks.

firestick-mailPublished every few days with a similar theme, the goal appears one of piracy deterrence. Unfortunately, regularly associating a legitimate brand with negative imagery is unlikely to have much effect on the pirate market and won’t boost sales of legitimate products either.

Since piracy rarely responds to negativity but loses market share as legal offers become more attractive, the Premier League’s decision to allow transmission of 270 fixtures in the new package instead of the current 200, is a step in the right direction. Still no matches available during the ‘3pm blackout’ or adjustments to pricing in the consumer direction, but the BBC now has a license to show highlights for all 380 matches.

Other ‘broadcasters’ will show all 380 matches in full, with no license at all.

All Matches, No Licenses: Premier League Targets Pirate Sites

Sky’s deal with the Premier League means the broadcaster now pays £5.95 million per match. Pirate streaming sites, meanwhile, pay the Premier League absolutely nothing and since that has a devaluing effect on the matches already sold, enforcement is the inevitable outcome.

In a letter dated December 14, 2023, Texas law firm Hagan Noll & Boyle informed Cloudflare that users of its “system or network” are infringing the Premier League’s copyrighted works, through dozens of websites, using an even greater number of domain names. Where relevant, the list also includes ‘backend URLs’ from where actual streams may (or may not) be served.

A small sample of the pirate domainspremier league-domains

The list includes the popular, which according to SimilarWeb data enjoyed 8.6 million visitors in the three-month period of September, October and November 2023.

In common with many other domains in the list, a second domain is listed alongside, indicating that visitors are redirected after visiting the initial domain.

For, the secondary ‘redirect’ domain is, which had around 750,000 visits during the same three-month period. While that’s significantly lower than, visitors from the UK account for 75% of’s traffic, versus 25% for its redirection ‘partner’.

Screenshots similar to those shown below form part of the evidence presented to Cloudflare, 103 pages in total. (left), (right)crackstreams-premier

Judging by the volume of gambling advertising on some domains, coupled with signs that sites are targeting countries including Thailand and China, the Premier League clearly has challenges ahead. Some may even be solvable in the United States, if it gets lucky with Cloudflare.

Notification Under 17 U.S.C. § 512

There are two reasons for sending a notification to Cloudflare under 17 U.S.C. § 512. As a first step, the Premier League would like Cloudflare to take the infringing content down.

“Cloudflare is asked to remove or disable access to Premier League’s copyrighted works, which, based on the infringement that has occurred to date through the websites and domain names identified above, will continue to be infringed in this same manner throughout the Premier League season,” the letter reads.

Whether Cloudflare can or will comply in some or all cases is unclear. However, until Cloudflare is sent a compliant DMCA takedown notice, Premier League can’t follow up with the next step.

DMCA Subpoena Application Filed at U.S. Court

Through the same Texas law firm, on December 14 the Premier League filed an application for a DMCA subpoena. This allows a copyright owner (or a person authorized to act on their behalf) to request a clerk of any United States district court to issue a subpoena to a service provider (in this case Cloudflare) for the purpose of identifying an alleged infringer.

The notification sent to Cloudflare identifying the alleged infringers and locations of the infringing content, a proposed subpoena, and a sworn declaration that the subpoena will only be used to protect Premier League’s rights, is usually enough for the clerk to sign off on a request.

Kids’ presents and turkey or gambling with strangers?premier-gambling

When that happens, Cloudflare will be required to hand over the following information for the domains listed below, and/or the ‘backend URLs’ listed in the notification to Cloudflare (not listed below).

Information sufficient to identify the alleged infringers of the matches described in the attached notification, which would include the individuals’ names, physical addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, payment information, account updates, and account history.

The deadline in the proposed subpoena is December 29, 2023

The list of domains and redirection domains reads as follows:

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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