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Comcast’s Sky wins court order to block illegal streaming services

The online pirates have illegally transmitted popular programming from Sky Atlantic and live sports from other channels.

The online pirates have illegally transmitted popular programming from Sky Atlantic and live sports from other channels.

Sky Group has won a significant legal battle in its ongoing fight against online streamers.

On Friday, a court in the United Kingdom approved a request from the Comcast-owned broadcaster that requires Internet service providers to block access to websites that illegally transmit content from its channels.

The specific content in question includes live football (soccer) matches from Sky Sports, as well as popular shows like “House of the Dragon” that are screened on Sky Atlantic.

Sky will use a third party to screen websites and other online sources for illegal streams. Upon finding them, Sky will receive a notification from the third party, which it can use to request ISPs in the United Kingdom to block access to the offending websites and services.

The court order comes as other broadcasters have sought various legal means to prevent pirates from retransmitting their content without permission, which can result in billions of dollars in lost revenue each year.

In May, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) partnered with sports broadcaster BeIN Sports and streamer DAZN to form a new anti-sports piracy cooperative that is aimed at identifying best practices for combatting illegal transmission of sports content.

“Intellectual property theft of live sports content is an industry issue, negatively impacting all sports and sports fans, and it needs a global concerted effort to meaningfully tackle it,” Shay Segev, the CEO of DAZN Group, said in a statement at the time.

Likewise, a spokesperson for Sky said the court order this week will give it better enforcement tools that will “help limit the supply of pirated Sky content.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).