The English Premier League has targeted more illegal streaming websites in the United States.
A recent court filing in California, collaborating with Cloudflare, is aimed at unmasking the operators of these sites, which have been broadcasting matches from top clubs such as Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal without authorization.
Free sports streaming websites have always been on the radar of the Premier League and anti-piracy authorities from around the world.
The Context: A New Broadcasting Deal and its Implications
The Premier League’s foray into legal action coincides with the announcement of a new broadcasting rights deal, an extraordinary £6.7 billion (US$8.5 billion) agreement that will commence from the 2025-26 season.
This deal brings into play major broadcasters like Sky and TNT for live games, while the BBC retains its role in presenting highlights.
Notably absent from this deal is Amazon, which, despite streaming Premier League games since 2019, has not been awarded any matches in the new agreement.
Parallel to these developments, the UK’s Daily Mail has shown an increasing interest in Amazon Firestick devices.
This surge in attention seems to be a part of a broader strategy aimed at deterring piracy.
However, linking a legitimate product like Amazon Firestick to piracy is a double-edged sword, potentially harming the product’s reputation without effectively curtailing illegal streaming activities.
The Premier League’s Anti-Piracy Strategy
Acknowledging the ineffectiveness of negativity in combating piracy, the Premier League has chosen a different approach.
By increasing the number of fixtures in the new package to 270 from the current 200, the League is making legal viewing more attractive.
This, however, does not address the longstanding issues of the ‘3pm blackout’ and consumer pricing.
The BBC’s license to show highlights for all 380 matches is a positive step, but it’s contrasted by the reality that all matches are being illegally streamed by unlicensed entities.
The Financial Impact of Piracy
The financial ramifications of piracy are significant. With Sky’s new deal equating to £5.95 million per match, the revenue lost to pirate streaming sites, which pay nothing, is substantial.
This loss in revenue necessitates enforcement actions to protect the value of legally sold matches.
Legal Action Against Cloudflare
A crucial element of the Premier League’s legal strategy involves a detailed letter sent to Cloudflare on December 14, 2023.
This communication, drafted by Texas law firm Hagan Noll & Boyle, details the infringement of the Premier League’s copyrighted works by various websites.
Sites like crackstreams.me and ronaldo7.io are particularly highlighted, alongside evidence that includes screenshots and extensive lists of domains and backend URLs.
The complexity of this issue is further highlighted by the presence of gambling advertisements on some of these domains, suggesting targeted audiences in countries beyond the UK, such as Thailand and China.
Steps Under 17 U.S.C. § 512
The Premier League has requested Cloudflare to take down the infringing content under 17 U.S.C. § 512.
This step is preliminary, setting the stage for a DMCA subpoena application filed at a U.S. Court.
This subpoena process enables the Premier League to seek information about the alleged infringers, including personal and contact details. The deadline for this information as per the proposed subpoena is December 29, 2023.
The Premier League’s legal actions are a response to the evolving challenge of digital piracy in sports broadcasting.
With broadcasting rights becoming increasingly valuable and the landscape of media consumption shifting, the battle against illegal streaming is both complex and critical.
The outcome of this legal endeavor, especially in collaboration with Cloudflare, is likely to influence future anti-piracy measures in the world of sports broadcasting.
The List of Targeted Streaming Sites
The Premier League’s legal documents include a comprehensive list of domains and redirection domains implicated in the illegal streaming of matches.
Below you will find the full list of domains:
- 88zhibo.me and 222live.net
- 720pstream.me and 720pstream.nu
- bgibola5.xyz and bgibola77.live
- cakhia51.tv and cakhia22.live
- dooball168-hd.com and dooball2you.com
- dooballx.com and duball356.com
- futemax.app and futemax.la
- mmfootballgroup.com and mmfootball.cryptken.com
- pawastreams.top and pawastreams.info
- rojadirectaenvivo.club and rojadirectaenvivo.nl
- socolive.news and socolive.fan
- crichd.com and hd.cricfree.io
Conclusion: The Future of Legal Streaming
The Premier League’s legal actions in the United States mark a significant step in the ongoing battle against digital piracy.
By targeting the operators of illegal streaming sites, the League aims to protect its valuable broadcasting rights and ensure that fans access matches through legitimate channels.
This case, involving Cloudflare and other technology players, may set a precedent for how sports leagues worldwide tackle the complex issue of digital piracy.
For more information on this story, refer to the report from TorrentFreak.
Legal Streaming Options
IPTV Wire can’t determine whether third-party IPTV services, apps, websites, or add-ons hold the proper licensing.
If and when a streaming website is deemed illegal, we notify our users immediately and update reports on our website like this one to reflect that information.
In conclusion, the end-user is responsible for all content accessed through free streaming sites, apps, and paid services.
See our detailed guide below for more information on the legality of IPTV and everything you need to know before streaming.
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