Premier League bosses are in talks with cyber-security companies in a renewed effort to stamp out fans using illegal online streams to watch matches.
The Premiere League has already made attempts to solve the problem by partnering with the likes of Net Result, Irdeto and ID Inquiries. So far, it has managed to block some 45,000 illegal streams.
However, The Times reports that discussions are underway over how to tighten “geofencing” procedures.
It’s similar to what Netflix has tried to do in clamping down on subscribers who use proxy services to fool systems into thinking they're in a different country than they're actually in.
Citing one “industry insider”, The Times found that up to one million viewers watch illegal streams each week.
It will be welcome news for the likes of Sky and BT, which have shelled out £5.1bn for the rights to show live Premier League games for the next three years, as well as the advertisers buying the costly ad spots.
Keeping both on side is a priority for the Premier League, given its whole business model was “predicated on being able to deliver viewers”, The Times concluded.