High Court approves Premier League crackdown on Kodi streaming piracy
27 March 2017
Football fans who watch live matches for free via popular Kodi set-top boxes face a crackdown after the High Court approved a Premier League effort to shut down unlicensed streams online.
Mr Justice Arnold approved an order for Britain’s top four broadband providers BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media to block connections to the servers that host pirated streams of matches.
The Premier League is acting with the support of Sky and BT, which each pay millions for every match they broadcast and fear the popularity of Kodi boxes is eroding the value of their spending on exclusive rights. The rivals are paying a total of £5.1bn over three years to show top-flight domestic matches.
A Premier League spokesman said: “For the first time this will enable the Premier League to disrupt and prevent the illegal streaming of our matches via Kodi boxes.
“This will enable us to target the suppliers of illegal streams to IPTV boxes, and the internet, in a proportionate and precise manner.”
Kodi is viewed as a particular threat to pay-TV because it makes it easy and user friendly to watch pirated streams on a big-screen television.
A Sky spokesman said: "We are pleased the Premier League’s application to crack down on illegal streaming has been granted. Content piracy is theft and the success of this application is an important step in tackling the issue.
"We’ll continue to work with rights holders, government, online market places and content creators to tackle today’s piracy and make people aware of the risks it presents and the damage it causes.”