Pirates v the English Premier League: a war on the web

England’s match in Ukraine this weekend is a major landmark in the history of sports broadcasting: as many as a million fans will subscribe to Britain’s first high-profile football match available exclusively online. It is of course entirely legal: Kentaro, a European agency that deals in sports broadcasting right, set up the deal with the Ukraine’s FA when traditional broadcasters showed little interest.But behind this match lies another trend. On any given day, thousands of football fans in Britain and around the world will go online to watch games streamed live – not always legally. Compared to watching on television, the quality is poor, and the commentary could be in almost any language you care to name, but as with so many other forms of piracy, many consumers are prepared to overlook such details for free kicks.

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