Concern for fans who illegally stream football as £320K in PayPal payments discovered from busted IPTV empire

Two men have been given suspended prison sentences.

Two men have been handed suspended prison sentences for running an illegal streaming service that had almost 4,000 paying subscribers.

The use of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) technology, which delivers TV content through broadband services, has been on the rise in recent years.

In some cases, the technology has been used, in exchange for a fee, to provide customers with online access to allow them to stream premium content without permission from legitimate providers.

Some users have also used Amazon Fire Sticks to illegally watch TV programmes.

However, the Fraud Act 2006 states that it is illegal ‘to watch TV or streaming services without paying the required fee‘.

If convicted, you could face between 12 months or five years in prison, depending on whether the conviction is classed as summary or as more serious.

The Premier League has been increasing its efforts to prevent the illegal use of these technologies to stream matches from the top flight of English football.

The league pays the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) to investigate and enforce its copyright as part of a crackdown on the growing issue.

Now, two men who ran an illegal IPTV service have received suspended sentences, alongside community service orders, by Worcester Crown Court.

Benjamin Yates and Lewis Finch, both from Worcester, were found guilty of offences under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

The pair ran the ‘Titan Streams’ service, which had acquired nearly 4,000 subscribers. The pair confessed to illegally supplying IPTV to allow subscribers to watch BT Sport (TNT Sports) and Sky Sports programmes.

They received a 20-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, and were each ordered to complete 250 hours of community service.

The convictions followed a joint investigation ran by Worcestershire County Council’s Trading Standards Service, FACT and BT.

Worcestershire Crown Court. (


The case was referred to Trading Standards after test purchases were carried out by FACT and BT.

The Worcestershire News reported that IT equipment seized during the investigation showed that both defendants had been ‘heavily involved in the provision of IPTV services‘.

Their PayPal accounts showed that payments of over £320,000 had been received over a time period of over three years.

A spokesperson for the Worcestershire Trading Standards Service confirmed to LADbible that, as a result of the test purchases and by using legal gateways to request information to assist with criminal investigations, they had obtained information from PayPal concerning accounts linked to both defendants.

They were then able to track the purchases and target the accounts they believed belonged to the IPTV owners.

Simon Wilkes, Head of Worcestershire Regulatory Services, said: “Trading Standards are committed to protecting the rights of legitimate businesses.

“The joint investigation has led to a successful outcome, which sends a clear message that we will seek out and prosecute those who are involved in this type of crime.

“This is not a victimless crime; it damages the interests of those who own the intellectual property rights to the subscription TV services and can affect legitimate customers through higher subscription prices.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Football, Premier League, BT Sport, Sky Sports

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