In recent years there’s been an increase in the availability of unlicensed TV streams, with vendors offering virtually any channel imaginable, for free or in exchange for a small fee.
Many of these IPTV packages are unlicensed. That makes them a lot cheaper to the end users, which explains why their popularity is growing.
While the phenomenon remained under the radar for a long time, more recently we have seen several raids on vendors who sell these ‘pirate’ subscriptions. After arrests in Spain and Poland, Thai authorities have also joined in.
Last week the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) arrested two British men, William Lloyd, 39 and William Robinson, 35, for their alleged involvement in selling unlicensed IPTV subscriptions. The pair were arrested together with 33-year-old local man, Supatra Raksasat.
The enforcement action followed a complaint from the Football Association Premier League Ltd (FAPL) and was made public yesterday. According to the authorities, the men sold pirate subscriptions to dozens of TV-channels through 365sport.tv.
The website in question was taken offline and is no longer operational. However, cached versions show that the outfit sold subscriptions for 10 or 22 premium sports channels for a monthly fee of 600 ($17) and 999 ($29) Thai Baht respectively.
DSI deputy chief Suriya Singhakamol said that the men were also accused of offering unauthorized content through a variety of other sites targeted at expats, including Thaiexpat.tv, Hkexpat.tv, Indoexpat.tv, Vietexpat.tv, and Euroexpat.tv.
Following the Premier League complaint, DSI’s cybercrime unit launched a special investigation which found that 365sport.tv offered the unlicensed streams through Thai servers.
The authorities subsequently obtained arrest warrants through the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court.
While the case remains open, the two British suspects have been handed over to officials from the British embassy, which requested their bail. All unlicensed IPTV streams, meanwhile, are no longer online.