This past weekend, the Premier League got underway, this time with new measures to combat pirated streams of the games.
ISPs have been told to block the content in real-time, after the English Premier League (EPL) obtained a High Court injunction earlier this year.
But how successful was the effort to combat piracy. Well, as it turns out – quite. That is, according to a report from TorrentFreak.
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The EPL began blocking illicit streams back in May, in an attempt to crack down on those trying to get around the cost of signing up for a subscription to watch the matches.
Often, those illegally streaming the games will use equipment such as set top boxes loaded with Kodi and third-party add-ons that allow for the games to be streamed for free.
Kodi itself is completely legal, but the third-party add-ons are where the problems arise, with rights-holders and authorities recently stepping up efforts to stop such illegal streaming.
When ISPs first began blocking illegal streams of Premier League games earlier this year, the effectiveness of the measures was unclear.
At the time TorrentFreak reported that unauthorised streams were still easy to find, despite the EPL claiming it blocked around 5000 IP addresses it identified as streaming its content.
Since then, the EPL has gained a new High Court injunction for the current season, and it seems the most recent effort to combat piracy was more effective.
The Premier League matches began on Saturday, and several streams of the games reportedly went black within minutes.
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Providers of these unauthorised feeds are said to have tried to get around the blocking action, with some looking to switch domain names.
But it seems that wasn’t enough to thwart the new measures, though some providers reportedly still managed to stream the matches to users.
For now, it seems those intent upon streaming premium sports events for free will have to resort to VPNs to get around UK ISPs blocking the matches.
But with the increasing difficulty and higher cost that brings, many will simply have to start paying up for a subscription.
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