IPTV 'piracy shield' could stop Premier League fans from watching illegal streams for good

The shield is currently only used in southern Europe – but could be implemented in the UK soon.

A new IPTV ‘piracy shield’ could stop fans from watching Premier League games via illegal streams for good.

The rise of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) technology, which delivers TV content through Internet Protocol, or broadband, services, has in turn resulted in a rise in illegal streaming of sports events in recent years.

Others, meanwhile, have been using Amazon Fire Sticks to illegal watch Premier League matches.

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

Furthermore, doing so is a breach of copyright law, and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT UK) have recently warned that any users who breach those laws could face jail time.

Earlier this year, a 42-year-old man from Sutton Coldfield was jailed for 12 months after being convicted of copyright crimes between 2017 and 2021.

He had pleaded guilty to a range of offences, including the possession, sale or distribution of a device designed to circumvent technical measures, as well as the promotion, advertisement or marketing of a service ‘the purpose of which is to circumvent technical measures’.


Now, in Italy, authorities are further cracking down on illegal streaming of football matches with the introduction of the IPTV ‘Piracy Shield’.

The system went live in February, with reports claiming that it has already succeeded in blocking 528 IP addresses and 114 illegal streaming sites.

The shield works by blocking illegal streaming, including IPTV services, as well as other Domain Name System (DNS) and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services that are able to get beyond otherwise geoblocked routes.

And the aim is to ensure that illegal streaming search results are removed from search engines, which will provide another block on the practice.

In 2018, an Italian government website published framework for how to deal with cyber issues, with cybersecurity ‘considered a top priority at the national government level‘.

There is no mention of how the shield could impact social media, although it may one day mean an end to the ‘watch live match for free’ spam comments that fill Twitter (X) pages.

As of yet, there are no official plans for the software to be used in the UK – but that could all change.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Football, Premier League

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