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?