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More than a third of Premier League viewers stream illegally

Thirty-six per cent of football supporters illegally stream at least once per month

Over a third (36 per cent) of UK football supporters have streamed live Premier League matches online through an unofficial provider at least once a month, according to a BBC report.

The corporation also found that 22 per cent of supporters stream Premier League matches at least once a week.

As part of the BBC Five Live survey, ComRes interviewed 1,000 adults who reported being regular viewers of Premier League football, online between 7th and 15th March.

The news follows reports that Sky loses Premier League viewers as clubs demand bigger TV windfall

“>Sky lost 14 per cent of its live sports viewers between the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons.

The BBC found that nearly half of fans (47 per cent) have watched a match through an unofficial provider at least once in the past.

Younger fans (aged 18-34) are considerably more likely than their older counterparts to stream live football matches online through an unofficial provider. Nearly two-thirds do so at least once a month compared with 33 per cent of 35-54-year-olds and 13 per cent of those aged over 55.

The survey revealed that of those fans who stream matches illegally, the most popular reasons are because a friend/family member does it and they just watch (29 per cent); because the quality of online streaming is good (25 per cent) and because sports TV packages are not good value for money (24 per cent).

Somewhat alarmingly, it was found that an eighth of Premier League fans think it is legal to stream games online (not through an official provider), while 34 per cent think it is always illegal and 32 per cent don’t know; four per cent believe it is not breaking the law but Sky or BT could fine you if they find out; seven per cent think it is sometimes illegal; and ten per cent believe it is legal to watch but illegal to upload a stream.