Premier League targets pirate sites

The English Premier League has called for tighter laws against IT theft to stop the unauthorised online broadcasting of football matches. One website which links to unauthorised live broadcasts of Premier League and other matches now attracts more traffic than the sites of broadcasters such as ITV, according to a report by a BBC programme. The consumer watchdog programme claimed the site, based in the Netherlands, receives funding from online bookmaker bwin, which sponsors Real Madrid and AC Milan. The Premier League said it was actively engaged in combating abuses of its rights, with legal notices sent to those found broadcasting matches to which they did not own the rights.

Bwin said it was not breaking any laws, it said: “Our commercial partner is the site that’s the TV listing. The (sites being linked to) are not our commercial partners. There is no relationship between bwin and any streamer of content whether or not they hold the rights to it.”

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