Singaporean football fans urged to avoid pirated Premier League content

Premier League players from clubs including Manchester United and Liverpool are spearheading the latest instalment of the League’s ‘Boot Out Piracy’ campaign, to raise awareness with Singaporean fans of the risks and detrimental effects of streaming illegal content.

Launched on Dec 19, 2023, for the third season in Singapore, this year’s campaign features Premier League stars including Casemiro (Manchester United), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Julio Enciso (Brighton & Hove Albion), Abdoulaye Doucoure (Everton) and Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest).

In a series of videos which will appear across digital channels, the players highlight how those who access Premier League content through unofficial websites or streaming devices leave themselves vulnerable to the threat of cyber-attacks, including harmful malware and ransomware. This poses the danger of scams, data theft, fraudulent activities, and also means they are likely to watch matches on unreliable and poor-quality streams.

A report released by the Digital Citizens Alliance in June 2023, titled ‘Giving Piracy Operators Credit’, found that 44 per cent of users who accessed pirate content online had experienced instances of identity theft. The same report also found 46 per cent of users engaging in piracy had experienced malware, compared to only nine per cent who did not engage in piracy.

Professor Paul Watters, a leading cybersecurity consultant and researcher, said: “There were record losses as a result of malware attacks in 2022. Consumers should be aware that sites and apps which stream pirated content are one of the main sources of these attacks.

“While antivirus software can help consumers, it cannot keep up with the explosion in malware variants every day. The best cure is prevention – avoid those sites that host and distribute malware.”

The Premier League is continuing its close working relationship with local authorities throughout Asia and across the world to bring criminal action against website operators and suppliers of illicit streaming devices.

In Singapore, close collaboration with the Intellectual Property Rights Branch of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) has led to anti-piracy successes, including the arrest of 17 illegal streaming devices vendors from Sim Lim Square from a police raid organised by the SPF in 2022, as well as a landmark legal victory in 2019 against a retailer that was enabling illegal broadcasts of Premier League football and other entertainment content.

The League commends the work of the Singaporean Government regulators in their continuing efforts in targeting sports piracy syndicates operating in territory. Thus far, over 450 domains of illicit streaming devices and websites responsible for pirated Premier League content have been blocked through such efforts, with further rounds of blocks anticipated this season. As well as disrupting illegal streams of Premier League and other content, they are also limiting access to unlicensed and unregulated gambling operations that pose unacceptable risks to consumers.

Premier League General Counsel Kevin Plumb said: “We know how passionate fans in Singapore and across Asia are about Premier League football. Through the ‘Boot Out Piracy’ campaign, we continue to highlight the significant risks of watching matches through illegal streams.

“Those who do so not only miss out on the best possible viewing experience, they also face a range of cyber-security dangers. By accessing pirated content, people make themselves vulnerable to criminals, who use a wide range of methods to compromise the devices of viewers. This can lead to numerous issues, including fraud and identity theft.

“Our advice to Singaporean football fans is to not put their online safety at risk and to watch Premier League football in the best possible quality through our official broadcast partner.

“As well as educating people on the dangers of illegal streaming, we are working harder than ever with local authorities to block pirate sites and streams and prosecute the sellers of illegal streaming devices.”

In Singapore, the Premier League works in collaboration with local broadcast partner StarHub on the ‘Boot Out Piracy’ campaign.

Ms Veronica Lai, Chief Corporate and Sustainability Officer at StarHub, said: “We are pleased to partner with the Premier League in the latest instalment of the Boot out Piracy campaign, to raise awareness of cyber concerns.

“The risks of identity theft, scams and malware are real. We encourage viewers to subscribe to a safe and good quality streaming experience with StarHub, to enjoy unmatched affordability and an entertaining breadth of Premier League content.”

The campaign will be featured across broadcast channels, social media, websites and YouTube in Singapore, as well as Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Premier League’s anti-piracy programme

The Premier League has one of the most comprehensive anti-piracy programmes in the world, working with broadcast partners and authorities to bring down illegal streams and investigate and prosecute suppliers of illegal streaming services. The Premier League is a member of the Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy, the industry association for leading video content creators and distributors in Asia, which focuses on tackling the threat of piracy across Asia.

The Premier League works with and supports the anti-piracy efforts of our local broadcaster, StarHub, and has been responsible for blocking hundreds of website domains related to the illegal distribution of Premier League content.

The Premier League

The Premier League produces some of the most competitive and compelling football in the world. The League and its clubs use the power and popularity of the competition to inspire fans, communities, and partners in the UK and across the world. The Premier League brings people together from all backgrounds. It is a competition for everyone, everywhere and is available to watch in 880 million homes in 189 countries.

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