U.S. seizes 10 sports streaming websites

seized_website.top.jpgVisitors to the seized websites are greeted by this notice, courtesy of the federal government. By Charles Riley, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Ten websites that were allegedly engaged in the live streaming of major sporting events have been seized and shut down by authorities, the government said Wednesday.

The 10 sites were among the most popular on the Internet for users hoping to access copyrighted sporting events, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

According to the government's complaint, which was unsealed Wednesday, each of the seized sites aggregated illegal, pirated broadcasts, and provided links to site visitors.

Some of the world's biggest sports leagues were allegedly victimized, including the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, World Wrestling Entertainment and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the seizure, carried out just days before the Super Bowl, reaffirms the government's commitment to protecting copyright material.

"The illegal streaming of professional sporting events over the Internet deals a financial body blow to the leagues and broadcasters who are forced to pass their losses off to fans by raising prices for tickets and pay-per-view events," Bharara said.

The sites were disabled Tuesday, and have since been replaced by a posting notifying visitors that "This domain has been seized by ICE - Homeland Security Investigations."

The seizure were carried out by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

ICE is the principal investigative arm of the larger Department of Homeland Security, and runs the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, which coordinates government efforts to combat intellectual property theft.

Atdhe.net, channelsurfing.net, hq-streams.com, hqstreams.net, firstrow.net, ilemi.com, iilemi.com, iilemii.com, rojadirecta.org and rojadirecta.com are the names of the seized sites. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,081.96 10.74 0.06%
Nasdaq 4,503.58 -2.27 -0.05%
S&P 500 1,976.19 -1.61 -0.08%
Treasuries 2.49 0.00 0.00%
Data as of 12:51pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 14.84 -0.27 -1.79%
eBay Inc 56.51 3.85 7.31%
Bank of America Corp... 17.02 0.01 0.09%
Apple Inc 100.81 0.70 0.70%
Facebook Inc 79.35 0.35 0.44%
Data as of 12:36pm ET

Sections

CNNMoney's Italian-American investing correspondents did a taste test of Olive Garden's food. They agree with hedge fund Starboard: It's not very appetizing. More

Even limited air operations could cost up to $4 billion a year, says a think tank, while large ground forces could cost $1.8 billion a month. More

Testing whether the iPhone 6 Plus BendGate controversy is real, some are testing it out in Apple Stores. More

On Wednesday, 17% of First Green Bank's 66 employees will get a raise under the company's new "living wage" program. The guarantee: At least about $30,000 a year. More

This mom of four only makes $29,000 a year and is losing $400 a month because the state is garnishing her paycheck over a debt. Now she is about to be evicted from her apartment. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.