Free IPTV platforms make sports piracy easy to watch and easy to spread *TorrentFreak

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The rise of premium pirate IPTV services is well documented but sports companies are also concerned about completely free alternatives. The so-called “open web piracy” allows internet users to watch pirated IPTV streams without paying a single penny. Not only that, anyone with access to a legal stream can easily make it available to the masses, even from the comfort of their own home.

IptvRight now, it’s hardly a news flash that for a small monthly fee, people can subscribe to pirated IPTV services that offer everything from live TV and sports to movies and TV shows.

These payment services have grown in popularity, but millions of people still prefer to rely on websites that embed or link to pirate streams and offer them for free.

Legitimate content companies would love to see these platforms shut down, but recent submissions to the European Commission show that websites are part of a thriving ecosystem, one that allows people to view piracy streams and also share them with the masses.

Open web hacking vs closed web hacking

The major sports rights holder, the English Premier League, describes subscription-based IPTV services as “closed network piracy” because the content is only available to those who pay for access. On the other hand, Open Web Hacking is described as content that is freely accessible on the web without users having to pay anything.

The image below submitted to the European Commission provides a basic overview of how Open Web Hacking works.

Open Web Piracy

The graph above/left of the TV screen represents an official broadcast signal (such as a football game) being captured, often by a “professional” hacker. According to the Premier League, this can be accomplished by using an HDMI splitter that connects a legitimate set-top box to a computer, or by other means. The graphics on the right represent captured content that is sent to the streaming platform (and its servers) where users can view it on different devices.

It is important to note that there is also an arrow pointing from viewers to streaming platforms. This indicates that users can also become content providers if they know how the system works. The Premier League report notes that it is not difficult at all.

Pirate streams can be watched and shared as well

For an illustration of how Internet users can create or capture video content before distributing it to the masses, one need look no further than YouTube. It’s the perfect example of how individual creators (or transcribers) can reach millions of people with relatively little effort, but for hackers, YouTube isn’t perfect.

YouTube’s Content ID system (and Facebook’s rights manager) can quickly identify pirated content, a feature the Premier League uses to remove pirated streams from platforms in near real time. But these are not the only platforms that allow users to watch piracy streams and upload their own for others to see.

The Premier League has a short list of problematic platforms, and other rights holders are considering it too.

Broadcasting platforms used to receive and publish content

The first platform to receive cash is a blast from the past. Originally marketed under the name Torrent Stream, ice stream It is a peer-to-peer BitTorrent-based service dedicated to live streaming. In common with regular torrent magnet links, Ace Stream content is accessed using special URLs in the format “acestream://********”, with asterisks representing the unique code of a particular stream.

Search engines exist For such content and similar to YouTube, the material can range from completely legal to pirated streams. The latter can be found on cataloging sites dedicated to those who simply want to view but for those who have a stream to share, Ace Stream makes things very easy too.

Icestream -1

As a result, the English Premier League is not satisfied with the so-called Ukrainian operators of Ace Stream. This kind of involvement has been going on for years and there is no cooperation when it comes to takedowns.

They noted that “despite thousands of notices being sent to software operators over many years, and previous Premier League submissions being placed on a watchlist, Acestream has taken no action to stop the breaches”.

Other platforms offering similar but more centralized functionality include which also appears in the offering of the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA), similar to Ace Stream.


“The platform operator has taken extensive measures to obscure their identity, making any attempts to enforce it against the platform or the streams it offers extremely difficult,” the Premier League complains.

China-based soccer organization Just Fun ( has also been described as a threat. The platform looks similar to YouTube but seems to carry huge numbers of live offense sports streams that can be accessed on Just Fun itself and embedded on other sites across the web.

Again, users can simply view the hacking streams or choose to upload their own for others to watch.

“The platform allows individuals to upload live and on-demand content to the platform, with live streams of matches indexed and annotated by commentators/reporters provided by the platform,” the submission continues.

Just Fun

A separate AAPA submission lists several additional platforms operating along similar lines including,,,,,, and jokerswidget. com,,,,,,,

At the time of writing, the availability on some sites seems patchy, but given their ability to leverage visitors as viewers and suppliers of infringing streams, it seems their popularity will continue.

Applications to EC from Premier League and AAPA can be found here (1,2 pdf)