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Don't get caught offside!

Posted on 18 May 2017

Don't get caught offside!

Whether you are innocently just trying to watch a postponed fixture or are actually avoiding paying the extortionate fees for Sky Sports, online streams have been the answer. However, Justice Arnold's recent judgment in Football Association Premier League (the FAPL) v BT [2017] addresses what Justice Arnold described as the "growing problem" of live streaming of Premier League football matches, by holding that the Court has jurisdiction to make an order which blocks access to servers.

This type of “live” order is the first of its kind and entails a much more intrusive way of implementing the law than you would think. These orders mean the FAPL can monitor whose IP addresses that are streaming live Premier League football. Not only can they shine a light on you as you lie in bed with a bag of Doritos, but they can ask your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to block you in real time and without Court supervision... Leaving you in suspense as you miss the final surge of attack from a usually boring Man U, and in need of finding an alternative site for the next fixture.

I don’t mean to dash your last chance of hope, but yes. Your Internet Service Provider is probably on the list of those who has agreed to this order as it stretches as long as Arsene Wenger’s rein. BT, EE and Sky UK are all among the list of free-football haters, and will not hesitate to block out the modern day Robin Hood as he streams his football feed to the rest of the world on a site which almost always has an advertisement about weight loss or dating in uniforms.

As someone who loves the Premier League and is an avid Gunner, I feel like this a reckless challenge however it wasn’t as big of a kick in the shins as when BT took the champions League away from the 4.4 million of us that watched a game on ITV and Sky Sports. That number then dropped to 200,000 viewers a game after the £897 million deal.

So maybe the introduction of “live blocking” will not have the desired effect on the greedy ISP’s views, as the notoriously stubborn British public could just wait until match of the day instead of forking out the monthly fee. Also, let’s not forget there will always be a game on in your local pub, so even if it’s a long commute to the local, or you just don’t like the loud bloke in the corner, its 20 quid a month back in your pocket.

Posted in: News