Got a Kodi box?
Just using it to stream personal content like recorded videos to your TV yeah?
No, of course you’re not. Kodi boxes, as we mentioned previously, have now become more and more popular for another reason. With very little knowledge, anyone can add plugins to stream movies, TV shows and sports.
To some extent I can see why people are choosing to do this. Buy yourself a Netflix subscription and you may find a certain selection of shows and movies, meanwhile on Amazon Prime you might find a totally different selection. On a “Fully Loaded” Kodi box you can get every movie, box set and TV show – even Knight Rider from the ’80s – for absolutely nothing. Good eh?
“That’s the way it should be”, they say, “I’d pay if I had this selection and it wasn’t restricted by stupid geo-blocks”.
True, to an extent. YouTube location and device restrictions get on my nerves daily. When people in America are allowed to watch a TV show and those in other countries aren’t, it doesn’t always seem sensible – even if there’s good reasons behind it.
Sport, though, that’s another matter. If you pay for BT Sport or Sky Sports on any platform then it’s going to set you back £23 million per hour. The Premier League, the Football Association, Sky and BT have all invested heavily with your cash, so they don’t want to see that cash vanishing because of Kodi sports streams.
Whilst VPN’s and proxies will still let you mask your activities and location, those using Kodi plugins to watch football without might have problems over the coming months. A new High Court order permits ISPs to block access to a range of streaming servers… on the fly.
So, let’s imagine it’s Saturday and you’re watching an illegal Premiership stream. BOOM! It gets blocked. “No problem”, you think, “I’ll just update my clever Kodi plugin and get a new selection of streams to choose from.” BOOM! They’re blocked too. Cat and mouse. Cat and mouse.
Welcome to a new world friends. This is real-time censorship.
The order can flick the firewalls on for just a few minutes – the duration of an expensive football match – and they’ve got the power to do this until the end of the English football season.
BT, EE, Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk and PlusNet have all agreed to the plan, which begins Saturday.
Those using VPN and proxy networks will probably see no change, and there’s still several countries in the world where TV networks show football without subscriptions on-line, provided you’re in – or appear to be in – those countries of course.
The whack-a-mole continues, but for the large majority of customers using Kodi TV boxes to stream football through an unprotected ADSL or fibre connection, you’ll suffer.