Premium TV, the company which manages the Premiership and Football League’s online services, has been forced into a security upgrade because of “increasing piracy”.
A spokesperson for the firm told E-consultancy it would implement a new digital rights management (DRM) system in September, which it hopes will prevent illegal access to subscription-based video clips and radio coverage of Football League games.
Currently, the firm says it provides content to its subscribers on a "trust basis", relying on conditions within its customer agreements to prevent piracy.
However, it says an increasing number of users have been ignoring its guidelines and making links to its content available on the web.
The spokesperson said: “When Premium TV and Football League Interactive started working together, we introduced a disclaimer telling subscribers that they can’t provide links to our services to other fans, and if they do it is tantamount to piracy.
“However, we’ve been starting to see an increase in the number of subscribers copying and pasting links onto fans’ forums. As a result, we will be launching full DRM as of next month, so people will not be able to access subscriber services for free.”
The spokesperson declined to say how widespread the problem was or how many subscribers Premium TV has to its Football League content.
It manages the League’s digital rights, running clubs’ websites and selling live internet radio coverage and video highlights of games.
It claims to have generated over £20 million in revenues through agreements with its sports clients, which also include the English and Scottish Premier Leagues.