The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) has been working closely with regional police units to serve Cease and Desist notices to individuals suspected of supplying illegal streaming services. It appears to be the case that this heightened level of anti-piracy activity is timed to coincide with the start of the Premier League's return.
Last week FACT and the police served notices to addresses in Essex, Hertfordshire, West Yorkshire and Pembrokeshire – asking the addressed to cease any illegal activity immediately. Specifically, the action targeted those providing unauthorised access to premium television content. FACT admits that the targeted persons were "operating at a relatively low level," it wants to prevent them from undertaking further criminal activity and to send a message to others who might wish to follow in their footsteps. More actions of a similar nature are in planning, says FACT.
Pirate TV streaming is pretty big business in the UK. The latest stats suggest that there were 337 million visits by UK residents to sport stream piracy websites between July 2020 and June 2021. Researchers say that the top 10 illegal sport streaming websites in the UK make an average £1.4 million per annum. Revenue is gathered from those wishing to place advertising on or around the streaming content. As it is illicit streaming the likelihood of dodgy advertising, with pop-ups/unders, malware, crypro-hijackers, and other online ills are ever more present.
Equipment seized from Shrewsbury man suspected of illegal streaming of premium television channels (July 2021)
It has been a long time since FACT turned its attention to the activities of consumers, but with this latest campaign in full flow, it is hinting it might reach down to somehow warn or sanction the users of those who consume pirated streaming content. I'd guess that it will work with major ISPs to work on web blocks, like we saw begin rolling out to hit torrent sites in 2013.