Illegal Premier League Stream Supplier To Payback £1 Million
Operators of illegal streaming platform, Dreambox (unincorporated), Dreambox TV Limited and Digital Switchover Limited, have been ordered to payback £1 million (AU$1.74 million) for defrauding the Premier League (PL).
Mastermind of the operation, Steven King, was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison in March 2019, and has been ordered to payback the money within three months, or face having his sentence extended by an additional six years and eight months.
Under the platforms’ different names, King and his associates provided Premier League football to over 1,000 pubs, clubs and homes throughout England and Wales, with the original case being privately prosecuted in a joint investigation by the PL and FACT.
Commenting on the result, Premier League general counsel, Kevin Plumb, said: “This result clearly shows that supplying illegal streams is a criminal offence leading to prison sentences and significant financial consequences.”
“We are pleased the courts have recognised the seriousness of piracy-related crimes and the Premier League has requested all money recovered goes back to public bodies, including law enforcement agencies, to help them continue the fantastic work they do in helping bring people like this to justice.
“The vast majority of our fans watch Premier League action via authorised sources but for those who don’t, they must be aware this is not only an illegal activity that can lead to custodial sentences but they also risk becoming victims of hacking and fraud.
“We will continue to work with law enforcement to tackle piracy of our content and to educate fans on the dangers of watching Premier League matches via unauthorised streams,” he said.
FACT CEO, Kieron Sharp, added: “This is a warning to anyone selling subscriptions or devices that allow access to content without remunerating the legitimate provider – you risk time in jail and the loss of your properties, cars and other proceeds of crime.”
“FACT will continue to work with the Premier League and other rights holders to crack down on illegal streaming and to hold those behind it accountable for their actions,” he said.
The legal result comes after the Premier League suspended its deal with Russian broadcast partner, Okko Sport, due to the invasion of Ukraine.