THE latest Kodi blocks are coming from UEFA as they implement new bans aimed at tackling illicit streaming of Champions League matches.
Football fans hoping to illegally stream tonight’s Champions League clashes could be in for a shock.
The high court order to instantly block streams was gained late last year and it comes into force today – meaning tonight’s clashes between FC Basel v Man City and Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur will be the first to get stopped.
Some of the UK’s biggest ISP’s including BT, Virgin Media and Sky have been told they must take immediate action and will have to block any illicit streams.
This new ruling comes after the Premier League also gained a legal right to block streams being broadcast over the web.
In a written decision the court ruling said: “The Uefa competitions are very popular with television viewers in the UK. This year’s Champions League final attracted several million viewers.”
“Uefa’s evidence establishes that it owns the copyright in television broadcasts of all matches in the Uefa competitions, and in films (particularly replays), artistic works and musical works which are incorporated within those broadcasts.”
“The rights are very valuable. BT currently pays approximately £360 million each season for these rights together with the rights in respect of the Uefa Super Cup.”
Speaking about today’s block, Detective Sergeant Kevin Ives, from the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), said: “Now that the Premier League and UEFA have both secured high court blocking orders allowing them to shut off illegal streams at source, it has made it more difficult for the public to find illegal streams of premium sport online.
“This is just one of many developments that have made it much more difficult for those who try to watch sport illegally online.
“Consumers are putting themselves at unnecessary risk of fraud by purchasing and using illegal streaming boxes, even more so if the content they try and watch is being effectively blocked.”
The One Show warns of dangers of using Kodi streaming box
TV players such as Kodi have become increasingly popular over the past year with an estimated five million UK homes using it to stream content.
Kodi is not illegal but it can be used to watch premium content for free via add-ons.
A recent survey revealed that around 70 per cent – some 28 million – of Kodi adopters end up streaming content illegally.
However, with more blocks coming into force everyday it seems it’s getting harder for users to watch without paying for a subscription.
Recent news from football broadcaster, Sky, are estimating the majority of streams are now being blocked.
Speaking at the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) Conference 2017 in Macau, Matthew Hibbert, Head of Litigation, Sky said: “In terms of the impact on piracy, server blocking has been huge.
“Live streams of the Premier League can no longer be easily found in the UK.
Explaining more to Express.co.uk, Mr Hibbert confirmed: “We estimate that Internet service providers are now blocking the majority of pirated Premier League streams.”
The UEFA order will take effect from today and last until May 26.