The Premier League has gone to court in the US to ask CDN provider Cloudflare to help identify the owner of HesGoal.com. The site is by far the UK’s most popular live streaming portal for Pirates, streaming a wide range of sports, including the best football.
ball old Football is the UK’s number one sport, with millions of passionate fans cheering on their favourite Premier League teams every week.
This enthusiasm comes at a price. Many top games are not broadcast live to encourage stadium attendance. To view limited games, fans will need to spend around £100 a month on a subscription. Obviously, football is big business. Too big for some fans. Due to the high cost, pirated live streaming sites and services are very popular in the UK, with HesGoal.com being the most visited streaming portal.
HesGoal was established more than ten years ago. Since then, it has steadily expanded its user base globally, with more than 40 million monthly visits, according to SimilarWeb. It is particularly popular in the UK, where it accounts for more than a quarter of all traffic.
The site has so far been operating relatively unimpeded, but the Premier League wants to change that stance. The British football organisation appeared in court in the US this week in hopes of uncovering the identity of the HesGoal operator.
Legal requests are not directed against streaming sites. Instead, the Premier League is seeking a DMCA subpoena to force Cloudflare, the site’s CDN provider, to hand over any information it has about the operator.
Among other things, the Premier League is requesting information that can identify individuals associated with the site. This includes name, address, phone number and email address. Although not mentioned, Cloudflare is known to hand over payment details.
These DMCA subpoenas are usually issued by court clerks, and Cloudflare offers no compensation. A subpoena does not require a separate judicial order. However, as of this writing, it has not been approved.
This is certainly not the first time Cloudflare has faced a DMCA subpoena. As previously mentioned, the U.S. company processed 45 DMCA subpoenas for more than 35,000 domain names in the first half of last year.
Even if the Premier League’s request is granted, the question remains how useful Cloudflare’s information will be. By now, many pirate sites are aware of these subpoenas, so they may have taken steps to protect the real operator from exposure.