In a statement published today, UEFA have recognised the decision of the legal tribunal of Paris to require internet providers to block illegal sites offering streams of Champions League matches, at the request of Canal + and beIN Sports, as reported by L’Équipe.
The new law allows broadcasters to rapidly block sites, including those who are not currently recognised in the ruling but who might attempt to stream games during the rest of the season.
This comes after the anticipation of broadcasters of a growth in illegal streams with the arrival of the Champions League knockout stages, the tournament being one of the most pirated in the world.
With beIN having made the first step towards blocking illegal streaming sites in January following their acquisition of broadcasting rights for the Africa Cup of Nations, the legal director for the company, Caroline Guenneteau, praised the new ruling. “These blockage measures taken by the internet providers will rapidly and significantly reduce access to fraudulent sites less than two months after the law came into force,” she said.
Céline Boyer, who is responsible for the protection of content at Canal+ mirrored this sentiment: “It’s a major advancement in the fight against audiovisual pirating in France and ARCOM (the telecoms regulator) are doing a great job.”