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Two Illegal Streaming Services Shut Down By The FBI

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Illegal streaming has been a thorn in the side of streaming services for years. Fans flock to them to catch the newest episodes without dropping a dime. Two of the biggest illegal services on the “market” today (iStreamItAll and Jetflicks) were finally caught.

Got Caught Red-Handed

Las Vegas programmers Darryl Polo and Luis Villarino recently pleaded guilty to running illegal streaming services. Jetflicks, which was founded by both men, allowed users to download illegal content to their devices. Before its closing, the service has thousands of paid subscribers in the United States.

iStreamItAll, which was founded by Polo, had a much bigger impact on illegal streaming. The service had more content than major services like Netflix and Vudu. “Polo sent out emails to potential subscribers highlighting ISIA’s huge catalog of works and urging them to cancel those licensed services and subscribe to ISIA instead,” the Department of Justice said in a press release. Before its closure, iStreamItAll had 118,479 television episodes and 10,980 movies. As expected, most of these films weren’t all from American studios. “Specifically, Polo used sophisticated computer programming to scour global pirate sites for new illegal content; to download, process, and store these works; and then make the shows and movies available on servers in Canada,” the Department of Justice also said in a press release. Polo will be sentenced on March 13, 2020, while Villarino’s sentencing takes place on March 20, 2020.

The Cheap Way To View

Over the years, illegal streaming has been on the rise. Many point the finger at numerous streaming services popping up. A decade ago, the only three services available were Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. In 2019, AT&T and Disney threw their hat in the streaming war with Apple TV+ and Disney+. In 2020, NBC and HBO will also go head-to-head with Peacock and HBO Max. A study by nScreenMedia determined the average person subscribes to at least three streaming services. With the level of content on each service, many people find themselves terminating their monthly contracts. “Involuntary cancellations are a huge problem for the SVOD industry, particularly among young subscribers. Young adults from 18 to 34 years old are twice as likely to have experienced involuntary cancellation in the U.K. and three times more likely in the U.S.,” nScreenMedia founder Colin Dixon told Forbes.

Down For The Count

Illegal streaming hurts the sports industry, too. For UFC, illegal streaming crushes them in their wallets. In the past few years, the buy rate for UFC PPVs has plummeted to under 500,000 viewers. Reddit closed subreddit “mmastreams” after former UFC fighter Brendan Schaub called them out after getting links for matches. “Just for database and research, I went through 10 to 15 [of the links]. How big is Reddit? Reddit has their MMA thread where [events get posted], and you’re talking clear as day. I saw the fight. I’m anti-illegal streaming, I’m against that,” Schaub said on his podcast. The popular thread had 165,000 subscribers before it closed. Of course, this doesn’t stop anyone from starting another subreddit for illegal streams.

Stream The Right Way

While iStreamItAll and Jetflicks are down, a new slew of services will unfortunately rise eventually. With an ever-growing number of legal streaming services, some might have to bring something new to the table. “Illegal streaming is related to the options that one has to watch legal streams. In order to reduce the amount of illegal streaming, one has to have a society and culture that makes available legal streaming at a reasonable, affordable cost… I suspect that content owners will provide better experiences, paid experiences, or free authorized experiences for users, and that will then lower the amount of piracy,” lawyer Ira Rothken told Yahoo.

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