Order blocking illegal streaming of Premier League games extended for a year

Football Association says blocking measures an effective deterrent to illegal streaming of matches

The High Court has extended for another year an order which requires internet service providers to block illegal streaming of English Premier League football matches.

The order was first made in 2019 following an application to the court from the Football Association Premier League (FAPL) Ltd.

The order applies to Eircom trading as eir, Virgin Media Ireland, Sky Ireland/Sky Subscriber Services and Vodafone to block the IP addresses of the illegal streamers. Sky supported the application while the other three companies were neutral, the court heard.

The blocking order, which was granted under the Copyright Act 2000, has been extended each year since 2019 following applications by the FAPL

Johnathan Newman, for the FAPL, said the evidence provided by Sky showed that the blocking measures have been an effective deterrent to illegal streaming. He said Sky reported that subscriptions have gone up since 2019 and while it is not solely attributable to blocking, there has been a consistent increase over the past three years in subscriptions.

Mr Justice Denis McDonald said he was satisfied the order was necessary to protect the FAPL’s copyright rights. There was no suggestion the defendants have done anything wrong as they are “mere conduits” in providing an internet service, he said.

FAPL was very appreciative of the co-operation provided by the defendants, he said.

The judge extended the order for another year.