UEFA, Europe’s governing soccer body, really wants you to stop watching Euro 2008 illegally on the Web. UEFA media technologies chief Alexandre Fourtoy issued a warning on Monday: “There are pirates who steal content to build up a business of their own and we act against them all.”
Someone is making good on that threat: Three Justin.tv users who were broadcasting live cam streams of ESPN and ESPN Desportes on Friday (tvalerta, worldsport1 and sportsnetworkonline) have had their channels removed due to copyright violations.
Other than Google’s (GOOG) YouTube, which is always full of soccer clips, we don’t see anyone building significant businesses out of pirated live streams of the games. As CBS’s experience with March Madness showed, when people are able to watch the games on TV, they do so. It’s when they can’t get to a TV — in this case ESPN2 — that they look for a Webcast.
We imagine there will be a lot of logging on today for the matchup between Italy and France — a rematch of the 2006 World Cup Final — at 2:45 p.m. ET. The winner has a chance to move on in the tournament — provided Holland at least earns a tie against Romania. The loser, well, has no chance at all.
As we reported Friday, there’s only one legal option for watching Euro 2008 on the Web for people in the U.S. — and that’s ESPN’s broadband service ESPN 360, which is only available in 28 million homes subscribing to select Internet providers, like Verizon (VZ).
Good thing there are plenty of not-so-legal options for Italy vs. France today. Here’s a rundown:
Know of a better solution? (Besides buying a Slingbox?) Leave them in comments.
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