Spanish police, Europol take down huge illicit Premier League IPTV service

Spanish police and Europol have shut down what is being described as one of Europe’s largest illegal IPTV streaming businesses.

A collaborative operation involving Europol, Eurojust, Spanish specialized computer crimes prosecutors, the English Premier League and content security specialist Irdeto resulted in raids in 12 locations in Spain and Bulgaria, with eight invidivuals being arrested for the illegal distribution of about 1,000 pay TV channels across two ISPs using IPTV technology.

The investigation, dubbed Operation Caspar, was instigated by the Premier League, as part of an ongoing effort to combat illegal transmission of live football matches.

Irdeto identified a Danish citizen residing in Spain who owned an ISP in Málaga used to illegally broadcast encrypted TV signals to thousands of consumers and businesses across Europe. The individual in question is alleged to be the head of a criminal network spanning Spain and Bulgaria.

Operation Casper also uncovered another illegal organization located in Silistra, Bulgaria that was operated by the same network via a second ISP covering different European countries.

Both ISPs were legally established and offered legal services as well as providing illicit streaming of football.

“These actions are just one part of the largest anti-piracy campaign the Premier League has conducted to protect its copyright,” said Kevin Plumb, director of legal services, the Premier League.

“The raids in Spain and Bulgaria by the Spanish Police and law enforcement agencies are a clear indication that IPTV piracy will not be tolerated. Our model, like other sports and creative industries, is predicated on the ability to market and sell rights and protect our intellectual property.  It is because of this that clubs can invest in and develop talented players, build world class stadiums, and support young people in schools and communities across the country.”

Mark Mulready, senior director, cyber services and investigations at Irdeto, said: “The efforts of the Spanish Police and law enforcement to dismantle pirate organisations like this is critical in the fight against IPTV piracy. We continue to support our customers, partners and law enforcement agencies to identify large-scale cross-border pirate networks and help combat piracy. By detecting, analyzing, investigating and countering piracy, our collaborative efforts send a message to the pirate community that they will be found and brought to justice.”

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