Premier League seeks to boot out piracy with regional campaign

The Premier League is doing its part in rooting out piracy via its latest Boot Out Piracy campaign in Malaysia. Done in collaboration with DDB Worldwide, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the compromised viewing quality and risks faced by fans watching football matches via illegal streams.

The campaign will run across digital platforms and will emphasise on the dangers illegal streams pose to fans, as well as poor viewing experiences. Some of the cons of illegal streams include delays, broken links, pop-up ads, as well as malware and ransomware. The Boot Out Piracy campaign features the league's renowned players including Liverpool's Mohammed Salah, Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min and Manchester City's Raheem Sterling. Managers such as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Pep Guardiola and Frank Lampard also feature in a campaign that will also launch in Indonesia and Hong Kong ahead of the start of the 2020/21 season.

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The campaign comes after the Premier League surveyed more than 1,000 in Malaysia and found 68% of those trying to watch football via illicit means had experienced disruption or unreliability most if not all of the time. Also, a quarter of those who had watched pirated material had stopped due to getting a virus or malware on their device.

The Premier League's anti-piracy efforts in Asia have already been extensive and include blocking action against illegal apps and websites in Singapore and Indonesia, blocking illegal websites in Malaysia, and working with law enforcement authorities to bring criminal action against suppliers of illicit streaming devices and website operators across the region, including in Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

More than a year ago, the Premier League opened its first Asia Pacific office in Singapore, established primarily to fight piracy and support broadcast partners in the region. Premier League director of legal services Kevin Plumb said it wants fans to watch its matches in the best possible way, not ruined by time-lags, glitches or viruses and malicious malware.

"There is a hidden cost to watching football through pirate services and this campaign reminds fans it is not worth compromising broadcast quality or the risk of becoming a victim of data theft or fraud," he said.

The league currently works with broadcast partners in the region, including Astro in Malaysia, to make all matches available to fans. Astros' head of sports, Lee Choong Khay, said the company is committed to working with the authorities to protect the value of intellectual property by fighting piracy.

"As the official and exclusive broadcaster in Malaysia, Astro is committed to serving sports fans with the best and a hassle-free viewing experience," Lee added.

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