In another blow to illegal digital streaming operations, two men from Worcester were involved in a legal drama that revealed the lucrative underworld of IPTV piracy.

Benjamin Yates and Lewis Finch, the operators behind an IPTV service called “Titan Streams,” were hauled before Worcester Crown Court, accused of raking in a staggering £320,000 from eager sports fans seeking unauthorized access to live events.

Over three years, their setup attracted nearly 4,000 subscribers who were looking for a budget-friendly way to watch their favourite sports from services like TNT Sports and Sky.

But all this came crashing down when they were taken to court, exposing just how much money can be involved in these illegal schemes.

Is IPTV Always Illegal?

Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) uses the power of the internet to broadcast television content, bypassing traditional routes like satellite or terrestrial broadcast.

IPTV button on keyboard TV

Streaming services such as Netflix or ITVX are also based on IPTV and are, of course, legal, securing the necessary rights to stream content.

However, many illegal streaming services also present themselves as “IPTV,” which has unfortunately become synonymous with low-cost services that occasionally pop up online and are available either via websites or on “jailbroken” streaming devices.

Operations like Yates and Finch’s “Titan Streams” sidestep legal obligations, offering access to premium sports content from networks like TNT Sports without authorization or fees.

The £320,000 Titan Streams Operation

The case of “Titan Streams” reveals a well-oiled machine that turned significant profits by flouting copyright laws.

Football on mobile phone 1200

Yates and Finch orchestrated an elaborate scheme from their local base in Worcester, managing to attract a following of 3,971 subscribers over a span of three years.

These users gained access to premium content from TNT Sports (formerly BT Sport) and Sky, such as Premier League broadcasts – all without the proper authorization or compensation to the rightful owners.

TNT Sports collage

Over three years, the pair made an astonishing £320,000 via their PayPal accounts, showing just how big their illegal operation had become.

Many people find it hard to resist the chance to get cheaper live sports and exclusive content (with some not even realizing this is illegal), which helped Titan Streams grow rapidly and made its operators quite a bit of money.

The Takedown

The beginning of the end for Titan Streams came when Worcestershire County Council’s Trading Standards team joined forces with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and TNT Sports to investigate the illegal operation.

To gather evidence, FACT and TNT Sports posed as regular customers and bought “test” subscriptions to Titan Streams.

This allowed them to see firsthand how the illegal service worked and confirm that it was providing unauthorized access to copyrighted content.

Armed with this proof, the case was handed over to Trading Standards, setting the stage for a dramatic crackdown on Titan Streams.


The authorities then obtained warrants to enter the homes of Yates and Finch, the two men behind the illegal service. During these raids, they seized computers and other equipment, which underwent a thorough examination.

Hacker arrested police
Illustrative Photo

This investigation confirmed that Yates and Finch were deeply involved in running the illegal IPTV service, with further investigations into their PayPal accounts revealing the £320,000 sum.

The Worcester Crown Court handed down a strong message to those involved in the illegal streaming business.

Yates and Finch were each sentenced to 20 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work.

Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT, praised the collaborative efforts that led to this successful outcome, stating, “The individuals behind this illicit streaming service made a considerable amount of money through their fraudulent activities.

“This outcome serves as a stern warning to those who sell subscriptions or devices that provide access to content without properly compensating the rightful owners.”

Simon Wilkes, Head of Worcestershire Regulatory Services added: “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.”

The UK Fight Against IPTV

The UK’s battle against illegal IPTV services has intensified over the years, with law enforcement and industry bodies joining forces to tackle these services.

The £1 Million Firestick Premier League Scheme

One of the most significant cases in recent times involved a Shrewsbury man, Steven Mills, who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for operating an illegal streaming service that broadcast Premier League matches.

Amazon Fire TV Max 2nd in hand

Mills’ operation, which amassed £1 million over five years, exploited custom apps on Amazon’s Fire TV devices to distribute the content to over 30,000 subscribers.

The £237K BT Sport Streaming Empire

The £237K BT Sport streaming scheme led by Mark Brockley from Liverpool involved selling subscriptions to his streaming service, “Infinity Streams,” which illegally broadcast BT Sport content.

After making over £237,000 from these sales, Brockley fled to France to avoid prosecution and was sentenced in absentia.

The Londoner’s £250,000 Streaming Scheme

In London, Riki Adal’s operation, known as “Mighty Flex,” was brought to an end after generating almost £250,000 from pirated content.

Adal’s scheme involved illegally streaming sports and movie channels, along with other premium television content.

Man streaming video on a laptop

This case, resulting from a raid on Adal’s Hackney home, not only showcased the financial implications of illegal IPTV services but also the risks posed to consumers, who may unknowingly support criminal activities and expose themselves to cybersecurity threats.

Spotting The Signs of Illegal IPTV Services

As digital streaming platforms become more and more popular, distinguishing between legitimate and illegal services is becoming quite important. Warning signs of illicit operations include:

Suspiciously Low Subscription Fees: If the price seems too good to be true compared to established services, it likely is. Sorry, but you’re not going to legally watch every Premier League game by paying someone £2/month.

Premier League logo
Photo: Deposit Photo / Rafapress

Subpar Web Presentation: Illegal sites often lack professional design and robust user support.

Unconventional Payment Methods: Reliance on cryptocurrencies or other hard-to-trace payment methods, such as gift cards or pre-paid vouchers, is a common red flag.

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