Premier League games could be streamed online in a bid to end illegal broadcasts
Premier League bosses are debating whether to livestream games directly in a bid to end illegal streams, rumours suggest.
Organisers are considering whether streaming matches in the US and UK would significantly cut the value of its multi-billion-pound TV deals, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.
As many as a third of football fans watch the sport illegally, with many streaming games via illicit websites or through prohibited add-ons to so-called Kodi boxes.
Should the League decide to start streaming matches it could give current Kodi box users a new way to watch football online without fear of legal action.
Premier League chiefs are keen to offer options that reduce the number of people who illegally stream games, a figure that has dramatically risen in recent years.
But organisers are reluctant to do anything that saps the value from the £8.2 billion ($10.6 billion) broadcasters paid to show matches between 2016 and 2019, Digiday reports.
There is a growing recognition at the organisation that livestreaming could help to address an imbalance in the current broadcast model.
While rights fees for matches are soaring, viewing figures for sports broadcasters such as Sky and NBC are plummeting. Last season saw the biggest fall in live Premier League TV viewing figures for seven years, with both Sky and BT hit by the drop.
Sky saw a 14 per cent fall in viewing numbers, while BT channels dropped by 2 per cent.
source : www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4692800/Premier-League-edges-closer-streaming-games-online.html