Premier League fans with illegal streaming services to be visited by police
Police are to visit the homes of 1,000 Premier League soccer fans in the UK who watch matches through illegal streaming services.
With the cost of Sky, BT Sport and Amazon Prime Video required to watch every Premier League game on TV, people have turned to illegal streaming services.
According to the Mirror, police are trying to crack down on the number of fans watching illegal games, following previous raids.
These raids by West Mercia Police uncovered a huge database of a UK-based streaming service, and authorities are now set to visit houses from the database.
Fans who get the police to come to their door will be warned that they risk prosecution if they continue to use the illegal services.
West Mercia Detective Inspector Matt McNellis said: “We are able to implement cutting-edge digital tactics to identify and detect people breaking the law before they carry out enforcement activity in consultation with our partners.
“Often illegal streaming is used to fund serious organized crime and the West Mercia Cybercrime Unit is committed to preventing this source of criminal income and reducing the damage organized crime groups can do to our communities.”
Police have been working with FACT, an intelligence-led organization specializing in intellectual property protection investigations, in ‘Operation Raider’.
It is understandably backed by the Premier League, along with the three British broadcasters who pay billions for the rights to show the games.
FACTS chief executive, Kieron Sharp, said: “We would like to thank the Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN), the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), West Mercia Police and other police forces across the country, for their support in helping to ensure that the public are made aware of the dangers of using illegal streaming services and, more importantly, that they understand that there is a risk of prosecution.”
FACTS was the organization involved in the attack that sent the trio of men involved in Dreambox to prison for a total of 17 years.
The Premier League issued a warning to fans following these arrests, saying: “They [fans] must be aware that this is not only an illegal activity that can lead to prison terms, but they also run the risk of becoming victims of hacking and fraud.
“We will continue to work with the police to tackle the piracy of our content and to educate fans about the dangers of watching Premier League matches via unauthorized streams.”
Fans will need to spend a minimum of £18 a month on Sky Sports, £8.50 on BT Sport and £8.99 for Amazon Prime Video to watch all the games.
In the UK, fans will not be able to watch the kick-off on Saturday at 15.00 live on TV, but fans in other countries can watch all the Premier League matches.