A New Season A New Hight Court Streaming Block
The Premier League have been awarded a new High Court order blocking the delivery of 'streams' of live league games for the season of 2017/18.
The blocking order requires UK Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to prevent fans around the country from accessing illegally hosted streams online from around the planet.
Having successfully obtained a blocking order for the final two months of the 2016/17 campaign, the Premier League moved swiftly to gain a new one covering the new season as quickly as they could and a big part of that was the growing use of pre loaded devices that everyone has heard about such as IPTV and Kodi boxes.
In the final two months of last season more than 5000 IP addresses were blocked when it came to the streaming of live Premier League matches - Sky call it copyrighted content obviously.
And it's not just Sky, BT are more than onboard with this with both companies paying a record £5.136billion for the rights for the next three seasons.
I'm not going to go into great details about streaming, IPTV or Kodi here because yes in the land of the moneymen it is copyright infringement.
But with falling sales and interest on the telebox that has seen Sky make changes this summer to their Sports channels to make them in a sense more affordable as football fans didn't want to pay for swimming, and cricket fans didn't want to see their bills inflated by F1 and every kind of permutation you can find, whilst Sky should finally be applauded for not raking in the cash inflated by programming that few watched and giving fans the kind of coverage they actually want to pay for, it still misses the wider point.
When will Sky admit that most of their ex subscribers don't want to watch Manchester United or Chelsea or Arsenal every other week.
Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal fans do, and even Manchester City fans might be tempted to tune in with the hope of seeing embarrassing displays and losses, but whilst Sky crow about 'greater viewing figures' for their self created top six sides, well, the rest of the planet doesn't actually care.
With Sky's stranglehold on the Premier League, surely in 2017 we have the technology and the will - we have the red button afterall - where individual games can be screened and viewers, fans, armchair supporters, the prawn sandwich brigade and even those who don't travel can watch 'their side' instead of an arbitrarily selected game that suffers a shift just irritating fans who still attend games even though they know they are a fifth wheel, undervalued and overcharged.
Maybe it's time Sky took a proactive step and allowed subscribers the chance to watch the match they want to watch - even if it's delayed by 2 hours so we don't get into the realms of hurting grass roots football.
In fact, rather than fining people and taking them to court wouldn't that actually be a better scenario.
Fans who love football, but aren't going to 'their team' that weekend can hit their local non league side, and still make it home in time to watch their real club on tv. Fans who attend regardless, it won't make a difference. They'll record the game to watch it back and won't have to look at highlights and suffer the annoyance of sitting through Match of the Day or Channel 5 just to find out you've been given 10 seconds that weekend.
Just maybe somebody somewhere in Sky is thinking that...play your part in making it more accessible - then we all win.
It's not just the Premier League either, think of the boost this would give teams further down the leagues as the technology caught on and was expanded.