ACE: Egyptian authorities shut down four pirate operators following three raids

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ACE, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, announced the take-down of three commercial-scale piracy operations in Egypt that were illegally broadcasting live football matches and other content to audiences in the Middle East and North Africa. The addresses of the piracy sites now redirect to ACE’s “Watch Legally” site.

All three illegal piracy rings impacted ACE’s live sports tier members, DAZN and beIN SPORTS, as well as Shahid, a streaming service offered by MBC GROUP, also an ACE member.

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In synchronized arrests on August 28 and 29, the Egyptian police and the Egyptian Ministry of Internal Affairs took action against two operators of the ring of live sport, TV series and movie sites livehd7 and3sktv in Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt. The ring of sites was logging an average of nearly 18M visits monthly, with most of the traffic coming from Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. Police noted that the operators grossed nearly 1M USD from their illegal activities.

This operation follows two successful raids conducted earlier this year by the Egyptian authorities and demonstrates their continued commitment to combating digital piracy. In February, Egyptian police, in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Internal Affairs, took action against the operator of and five other domains in the region of Edkou, Egypt. The six domains combined averaged nearly 5.9 million monthly visits, with 2.3 million monthly unique visitors originating primarily from Egypt, Morocco, Iraq, Lebanon and Algeria.

In a separate action in January, Egyptian police and the Egyptian Ministry of Internal Affairs arrested the operator of fal3arda near Giza, Egypt. The site had illegally broadcast FIFA 2022 Qatar World Cup games and other football matches from ACE member beIN SPORTS’ channels, among other sources. The raid resulted in the operator’s arrest and the seizure of multiple assets including more than 100,000 USD.

Original news release

ACE takes down three major live sports piracy rings in Egypt.  Press release. September 5, 2023. Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE)

Why it matters

“Pirate networks, including these shadowy streaming websites, are a huge problem for our industry,” said Cameron Andrews, Head of Anti-Piracy at beIN SPORTS.  In the Middle East and North Africa alone, they have been costing beIN over a $1 billion USD a year and are threatening the viability of our business. It can be very difficult to identify and take action against these operators, and so we are very pleased to see these actions being taken,” she said.

“Taking down illegal streaming websites like protects consumers, preserves jobs, and sustains the economic viability and integrity of the live sports sector,” said Ed McCarthy, DAZN Group COO. “We are pleased that ACE’s task force has succeeded in removing which had been negatively impacting all content owners and putting consumers at considerable risk.”

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