Fans streaming live Premier League matches face home raid and 50k fine

Illegal streaming carries huge risks to perpetrators
Premier League football being filmed -Credit:Michael Regan/Getty Images

Football fans who use Amazon Fire TV Stick devices to illegally stream Premier League games have been warned they could face fines of up to £50,000 as home raids become 'inevitable' in a new crackdown on illegal streaming. The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and other UK authorities are increasing their efforts to combat this crime.

Following collaborative work with internet service providers (ISPs), high-profile raids on illegal streaming operations have been conducted. This action has intensified since the introduction of the Digital Economy Act 2017, which targets both providers and viewers of illegal streaming services.

The legislation has provided UK law enforcement with more robust tools to aggressively pursue and prosecute those involved in digital piracy. In the UK, illegal streaming is an offence under copyright law.

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Offenders can face substantial fines and prison sentences of up to ten years. Those found distributing illegal streams have been hit with fines exceeding £50,000, according to Birmingham Live.

While those who watch illegal streams typically face less severe fines, they can still be hit with penalties that often exceed several thousand pounds, highlighting the UK's tough stance on copyright infringement. Additionally, there have been warnings about the potential cyber risks involved, reports Birmingham Live.

Accessing content from unauthorised sources can expose users to serious online threats, putting personal data at risk and potentially causing damage to devices. These cyber risks can lead to significant data theft or hardware issues.

Sports analyst Alex Hemming from Free Bets Ireland has raised concerns, stating: "The risks associated with illegal streaming of sports in the UK are significant and multifaceted. The potential for hefty fines, criminal prosecution, and personal data compromise makes illegal streaming a risky endeavour. With more legitimate streaming options available than ever, choosing to view sports through official channels is not only the legal choice but the smarter one."