Illegal streaming of English Premier League football set to be blocked

by Padraig Conlon

It’s going to be a lot more difficult to find illegal TV streams of English Premier League matches when the new season kicks off.

That’s because in the Commercial Court yesterday the Football Association Premier League Ltd was granted Ireland’s first order compelling internet service providers (ISPs) to block live streaming of matches on computers, set top boxes and other devices.

The order is against Eircom/Eir, Sky Ireland, Sky Subscriber Services, Virgin Media Ireland and Vodafone Ireland.

Mr Justice Robert Haughton was told the ISPs were either supportive or neutral over the application.

Under the order, the content provided by the illegitimate servers or hosts, using streams from legal broadcast outlets, will be targeted in real time for disabling using the latest advances in technology.

It will be possible to block in one blow unofficial streams across several platforms and apps such as on phones, computers and set-top boxes.

The order means that content provided by the illegal servers or hosts will be targeted in real time using the latest advances in technology.

The Commercial Court was told it will now be possible to block streams from several platforms including laptops, PCs, tablets and mobile phones “in one blow”.

Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of hosts will be updated at least twice per game so that the blocking can happen.

Mr Justice Haughton said he was satisfied to grant the order and noted from the UK case brought by the Premier League that the judge there said continued illegal streaming undermined the value of the football TV rights.

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