The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) on Monday morning arrested a man in Manchester on suspicion of leading multiple illegal live sports streaming websites.
The 27-year-old man, unnamed by police, is accused with being the head of peer to peer sports streaming sites - a service which often sees UK broadcasters' sports feeds pirated for free on the internet.
The accused's websites have allegedly cost the UK TV industry an estimated £10m.
The man was arrested at his home in North West of Manchester by the City of London Police’s specialist IP address-tracking unit. At the scene, detectives found evidence of a large-scale piracy operation - with a dozen servers illegally broadcasting worldwide sports events.
The operation, supported by Greater Manchester Police, saw the suspect's computers seized with him taken to a local police station for questioning.
DCI Danny Medlycott, the newly appointed head of PIPCU, said: “Today’s operation is the unit’s third arrest in relation to online streaming and sends out a strong message that we are homing in on those who knowingly commit or facilitate online copyright infringement.
“Not only is there a significant loss to industry with this particular operation but it is also unfair that millions of people work hard to be able to afford to pay for their subscription-only TV services when others cheat the system.”
PIPCU is a specialist police unit dedicated to protecting online and digital content from intellectual property crime.
This UK-wide piracy crackdown comes after a man was last month jailed for 33 months for uploading a bootleg version of Fast and the Furious 6 to filesharing sites whereupon it received over 700,000 downloads.