Today, ACE or the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, announced that it has shut down three large IPTV services that streamed live sports online. ACE is made up of many major media companies, including Amazon, Apple TV+, NBCUniversal, Netflix Studios LLC, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Paramount, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, and Warner Bros.
Late last week, in synchronized arrests on August 28th and 29th, Egyptian police and the Egyptian Ministry of Internal Affairs arrested two operators of the live TV streaming services. These services had an average of nearly 18 million visits monthly. This comes as earlier this year, Egyptian authorities shut down other sites that averaged 5.9 million monthly visits and 2.3 million monthly unique visitors.
“The illegal broadcasting of live events poses a threat to our members, in particular to sports networks, which is why ACE considers targeting sports piracy a top priority,” said Jan van Voorn, Executive Vice President and Global Content Protection Chief of the Motion Picture Association and Head of ACE. “I applaud the work of the Egyptian authorities in last week’s actions, during which they seized 54 infringing domains, as well as mobile phones, IT equipment and cash. These three takedowns represent a warning to illegal operators—if you engage in piracy and make money, law enforcement will confiscate the money and your assets, so it’s not a winning game. We will continue to identify and act against the illegal broadcasting of live sports matches and other content.”
“Taking down illegal streaming websites like yalla-shoot.io protects consumers, preserves jobs, and sustains the economic viability and integrity of the live sports sector,” said Ed McCarthy, DAZN Group COO. “We are pleased that ACE’s task force has succeeded in removing yalla-shoot.io which had been negatively impacting all content owners and putting consumers at considerable risk.”
“ACE remains persistent in cracking down on piracy, collaborating closely with authorities to pinpoint unlawful operators in the MENA region. This wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of the Egyptian authorities involved, who work diligently to prevent illegal content sharing, and we are grateful to both,” said Natasha Matos-Hemingway, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer at Shahid, a leading Arabic streaming platform by MBC GROUP. “It’s no secret that piracy results in tremendous losses, not only for broadcasters, but for production companies and emerging content creators as well. As MBC GROUP, we remain aligned with ACE in its ongoing mission to protect the intellectual property rights of our creators. We are grateful to Alliance for their great work throughout the year, and we look forward to continuing to fight content piracy together.”
With this move, ACE hopes to help crack down on illegal IPTV as it tries to push customers to legal streaming services. As cord cutting grows, media companies are increasingly looking for ways to cut their losses by cracking down on illegal IPTV services.