The Premier League turns 25 in a few weeks, and off the back of its extraordinary success - it has become the most valuable football league in the world, valued by Deloitte at generating revenue of £4.865bn in the 2015/16 season - it now faces some questions posed by the future, and developments in technology.
One of the ways in which the Premier League is fighting against modern technology is by cracking down on illegal streaming, and they have announced today that they have been granted the ability to do so. The High Court have ruled in their favour, and now Internet Service Providers must block the IP addresses of any site found to be illicitly streaming Premier League matches. The Order is in effect for the entire season ahead. It was also in effect for the final two months at the end of last season, and the League claim they blocked more than 5,000 IP addresses found to be streaming illegally in that time.
The Premier League's Director of Legal Services, Kevin Plumb called the decision a "game-changer":
This blocking Order is a game-changer in our efforts to tackle the supply and use of illicit streams of our content. It will allow us to quickly and effectively block and disrupt the illegal broadcast of Premier League football via any means, including so called 'pre-loaded Kodi boxes'.
The protection of our copyright, and the investment made by our broadcast partners, is hugely important to the Premier League and the future health of English football.
The ability that clubs have to develop and acquire talented players, to build and improve stadiums, and to support communities and schools is all predicated on being able to market, sell and protect commercial rights.
We are pleased the Courts have recognised this with the granting of this significant blocking Order.