- UEFA have followed the Premier League in gaining the High Court injunction
- The injunction requires internet service providers (ISPs) to block illicit streams
- BT pays around £360m a year to broadcast UEFA matches on their channels
- Champions League and Europa League knockout stages begin on February 13
UEFA have obtained a High Court injunction aimed at tackling illegal internet streaming of Champions League and Europa League matches.
A judge in London has granted European football’s governing body an injunction which calls on the six main retail internet service providers (ISPs) to block illicit streams of UEFA matches.
UEFA have followed in the path of the Premier League, who earlier this year called on ISPs to block pirate streaming of live English top-flight matches.
Champions League and Europa League matches are regularly broadcast illicitly on the internet
The judge granting UEFA’s injunction, Mr Justice Arnold, said in a written statement: ‘UEFA’s evidence establishes that it owns the copyright in television broadcasts of all matches in the UEFA competitions.’
‘BT has since 2013 been the exclusive licensee of the rights to broadcast and transmit the UEFA competitions in the UK.’
‘The rights are very valuable. BT currently pays approximately £360million each season for these rights together with the rights in respect of the UEFA Super Cup,’ he continued, adding that UEFA felt the order was ‘appropriate and proportionate’.
Tottenham will face Juventus in one of the two opening Champions League last-16 clashes
Mr Arnold observed the Premier League’s injunction had proved effective and that the order provided an extra safeguard for the protection of their rights to broadcast matches.
The injunction will take effect on February 13 and continue until at least May 26 to coincide with the knockout stages of the Champions League and Europa League.
Both competitions’ knockout stages begin on February 13 with Juventus vs Tottenham and Basle vs Manchester City in the Champions League last 16 and Red Star Belgrade vs CSKA Moscow in the Europa League last 32, the opening fixtures.