Yarr Web Pirates!

The FA and Premier League want you to stop streaming live football right now!

Illegal sites are damaging the game, funding terrorists etc.


Fancy watching all this week’s Champions League games without splashing out on a Sky subscription? How about the 3 o’clock kick-offs in the Premier League this Saturday?

Those out there who prefer to illegally download (read: “steal”) their entertainment will no doubt be aware of sites like justin.tv, where live streams of virtually every sporting event are just a guiltless click away. On the San Francisco-based site, people in countries with legal access to Premier League games simply point a webcam at their television and stream it – nearly 150,000 people, for example, watched the recent north London derby on the site.

Naturally, the big dogs at the FA and Premier League are awfully unhappy with the amount of English fans who are watching their teams live via the intertubes:

Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson insisted: “We are in contact with this site and their lawyers and are seeking to prevent any further abuse of our rights.

“The streaming of live Premier League matches without permission is not only illegal, but also unfair on fans who have paid to go to matches or subscribed to Sky and Setanta.

“Their support means clubs can buy and develop the best players possible and invest in bigger, better and safer grounds.”

The chaps on American website EPL Talk – many of whose readers have no access to the Premier League other than justin.tv – astutely point out that illegal streaming is a cat and mouse game that the footballing bodies cannot control.

Perhaps rather than beating the web pirates, the FA and Premier League should play them at their own game – why not offer a subscription service which guarantees proper feeds and decent commentary, much like the folks at SerieA.tv have done?

8 responses so far
  • fourstar // November 4, 2008 at 11:57 am

    OK, I cannot get a ticket to see Arsenal play at 3pm on a Saturday. The match is not being televised in the UK. Would one of the brilliant minds at The FA and Premier League like to tell me why I shouldn’t be able watch the match if it is being televised in another country? Who am I hurting?

    a) Arsenal? No, the match was sold out months ago so I couldn’t pay to get in.

    b) Sky/Setanta? No, they are not showing the live game so my subscription(s) would not cover it.

    c) The broadcasters in the other countries? No, I wouldn’t be able to subscribe to their output as I am in a different region.

    d) The fans who paid to go to the game? If they would like to swap their ticket for my live stream, I would gladly do so.

    Come on brains of Britain, tell me just exactly what I am doing wrong.

    Or, as suggested, set up a not-overpriced subscription service whereby we get good quality streams with (English) commentary, reliable contention ratios and a wide choice of live matches?

    Or someone else will…

  • Tim // November 4, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    The entire idea behind not televising 3pm games is to protect attendances in the lower leagues. So maybe you’re hurting ,Charlton, Palace, QPR, Orient, Brentford, Barnet and Millwall.

  • fourstar // November 4, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Are you seriously suggesting that fans wouldn’t go to Orient because there was Man Utd v Portsmouth on the telly? Drivel. They’re two different things now, whether we like it or not.

  • Ronald Cristian // November 4, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Agree with fourstar entirely.


  • Honestabe // November 4, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Fourstar is spot on with every point.

    It does seem rather strange that every Premier League game is show on television abroad, normally with English commentary. But can’t be watched in the UK.

    It makes no sense at all.

  • dazza // November 4, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    u guys really really want to use this streaming site…..perfect quality…enlgish comemntry…simple to use..free….i rest my case go to google type in livefooty.doctor go to the top link and scroll down to every match avaialble that day and u wil be laughing ,even the sopcfast u need to downlaod is free and just use stream 1….enjoy

  • Squee // November 4, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    The old granddads at the FA should get with it and embrace this new-fangled internet age.

    The reason why attendances were a lot higher at lower league games in by-gone eras was largely because there was nothing better to do. These days theres 101 different things to do with yourself on a Saturday afternoon and I really don’t think people being able to watch a choice of all the premiership games will affect the gates for league two.

    But if the FA are that bothered about it then perhaps they could do something constructive for the lower leagues and grass roots football from the profit from an internet subscription.


  • RobT // November 23, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Better to stream live and help bring down the FA fat cats.

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