Three illegal streaming websites were shut down by Egyptian authorities last week as part of a coordinated take-down involving the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), the group said in a press release on Tuesday.
The websites allowed more than 18 million users to stream content from DAZN, BeIN Sports and Shahid without payment to any of the three companies, and were described as “commercial-scale” operations that generated more than $1 million on an annual basis.
Egyptian police raided various homes and offices on August 28 and August 29 that were connected to the three websites, ACE said in its release. Two of the websites were identified by name — livehd7 and 3sktv — while the third website, Fal3arda, was shut down in January.
The domains for all three websites were transferred to the contrl of ACE, which has redirected the address to their own website informing streamers about various legal ways to watch sports, live television and movies.
“The illegal broadcasting of live events poses a threat to our members, in particular to sports networks, which is why ACE considers targeting sports piracy a top priority,” Jan van Voorn, the executive vice president and global content protection chief at ACE, said in a statement. “I applaud the work of the Egyptian authorities in last week’s actions, during which they seized 54 infringing domains, as well as mobile phones, IT equipment and cash. These three takedowns represent a warning to illegal operators—if you engage in piracy and make money, law enforcement will confiscate the money and your assets, so it’s not a winning game. We will continue to identify and act against the illegal broadcasting of live sports matches and other content.”
ACE is part of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), which counts all five major film studios as its members, including those owned by Comcast (Universal), Paramount Global, Warner Bros Discovery, the Walt Disney Company and Sony Pictures.
“Pirate networks, including these shadowy streaming websites, are a huge problem for our industry,” Cameron Andrews, the head of BeIN Sports’ anti-piracy initiatives, said on Tuesday. “In the Middle East and North Africa alone, they have been costing beIN over $1 billion a year, and are threatening the viability of our business. It can be very difficult to identify and take action against these operators, and so we are very pleased to see these actions being taken.”
Ed McCarthy, the chief operating officer of DAZN Group, said takedowns like the ones that occurred in Egypt “protect consumers, preserves jobs, and sustains the economic viability and integrity of the live sports sector.”
“We are pleased that ACE’s task force has succeeded in removing [the websites], which had been negatively impacting all content owners and putting consumers at considerable risk,” McCarthy said.