UEFA's whack-a-mole game with illegal football streams is one it probably can't win

UEFA Euro 2016

UEFA has started cracking down on people watching the Euros online through sites which are illegally streaming matches live.

As well as issuing takedown notices to sites which are providing links to streams, UEFA is also issuing advanced pre-piracy notices in an attempt to stop streams being linked to before they go live.

This pre-emptive strike speaks to the difficulties of taking down live streams which will only be available for the 90 minutes of a match before disappearing. If a site takes longer than that to take down a stream, then there's limited benefit to any action being taken at all.

Streaming goes live

Watching content online may be becoming more and more popular, but traditionally live content such as sporting matches has continued to be watched through terrestrial television.

Increasingly however people are choosing to stream content live online. Last week, traffic on corporate networks doubled during the England Wales match as people streamed the match to their desks, according to cloud and connectivity provider Exponential-e.

In the UK the BBC and ITV, who hold the broadcast rights to the matches make them available to stream online for free through iPlayer and the ITV Player respectively.

But elsewhere in Europe official streams aren't as freely available, leading to the demand for illegal streams.

In the UK the problem also affects broadcasts which are exclusive to pay TV services.

UEFA's efforts have thus far been met with limited success. An analysis by TorrentFreak revealed that many pages which UEFA had issued takedown notices to remained available, albeit without any illegal content available with the match having since concluded.

Attempting to stem the flow of pirate content online has always been a challenge, but the live nature of this new wave of piracy is proving to be especially difficult.

Via: TorrentFreak

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.