Despite its popularity it is not possible for a fan with even the biggest budget to watch every Premier League game, this makes illegal football streaming inevitable.
There are rules meaning that games kicking off at 3pm are blacked out on UK television, which combined with the needs of broadcasters means under half of games each weekend can be watched LEGALLY.
Outside of the UK depending on the broadcaster this is not the case with US and Asian markets often able to watch every game over a weekend whilst fans of the Premier League need to have two sports subscriptions and are still relying on highlights packages to get their entire football fix.
How To Stop Illegal Football Streaming
The simple fix is simple, make every game available to UK users for a reasonable fee and the demand for illegal football streaming will fall through the floor. Admittedly this will not solve the problem completely but it will reduce the number of fans relying on dodgy links and streams to get their live football fix.
The BBC estimate that a third of Premier League football fans regularly watch matches via illegal streams, so something needs to be done to change the culture.
Unfortunately, the government, broadcasters and decision makers are focussing on cracking down on illegal football streaming rather than solving the issue at hand.
As the film industry learnt, once you give people a better service the amount of piracy drops, sure you will never get to the point of absolute zero but you can make a real difference. This could be offered as an online stream and a revenue charged, everyone can make more money and the game can grow.
The 3pm blackout is not working and is harming the game. Whilst there is a need to protect lower league attendances, they are unlikely to drop significantly with a change to allow the broadcast in the UK.
Illegal football streaming may be a problem, but it is not going away unless the powers that be show an evolution in their thinking to adapt to the modern game.