La Liga, the organising body for the top two tiers of club soccer in Spain, has claimed a major win in its fight against piracy after shutting down three illegal Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) platforms in Brazil.
The trio of websites - listaiptvbrasil.com.br, melhorlistaiptv.com.br and listaiptvbrasilhd.br - had been flagged for illegally streaming live La Liga matches, attracting more than 1.5 million visits per month and over 8,000 subscribers.
An official release from La Liga said that it worked with LtaHub, the soccer body’s partner legal office in Brazil, to contact the offenders and order them to remove the league-owned audiovisual content, cease all illegal activity, hand over all devices involved in their operations and transfer the domain names.
In addition, the operators of the three platforms have been forced to make a commitment not to carry out any further infringements and work with La Liga and LtaHub to identify any related illegal services.
The move marks La Liga’s latest attempt to ramp up its anti-piracy efforts in Brazil, where the league recently helped close four additional popular streaming websites which registered over 43 million visits each month.
"As a part of the entertainment industry, La Liga is doing its bit to put a stop to this scourge, which not only affects football, but thousands of people who work in the industry," said Melcior Solar, the director of La Liga's audiovisual department.
"Audiovisual piracy is a crime, it endangers the future of the game, the league and the sport as a whole. What's more, many people are directly or indirectly dependent on the industry. That's why we're firmly committed to continuing to lead the battle against piracy.”
La Liga has been making significant investments over the past five years to protect its intellectual property rights and has successfully closed 17 pirate websites in Spain. The league also partnered with Google in September to block search results that list known pirate IPTV services which have the capacity to stream live television and live media, with or without related interactivity.
La Liga is also one of a long list of sports properties to have its content illegally streamed by BeoutQ, the Saudi Arabia-backed pirate network, and in January issued a joint statement alongside Fifa, Uefa, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the Premier League and the Bundesliga, vowing to work together to put an end to the widespread piracy operation.