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The sites were disabled Tuesday, and have since been replaced by a posting notifying visitors that "This domain has been seized by ICE - Homeland Security Investigations."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 17,368.51 173.09 1.01%
Nasdaq 4,626.18 60.04 1.31%
S&P 500 2,013.87 19.22 0.96%
Treasuries 2.34 0.03 1.39%
Data as of 1:18pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.15 0.12 0.70%
Facebook Inc 75.05 0.94 1.27%
Intel Corp 33.78 1.20 3.67%
Apple Inc 107.59 0.61 0.57%
Crown Castle Interna... 76.64 -6.60 -7.93%
Data as of 1:03pm ET

Sections

Frightening vampires and zombies were no match for the chilling power of Princess Elsa this Halloween. More

Amy Kukec thought leaving her abusive husband would be the beginning of a new life, but so far she's hit one debilitating financial roadblock after another. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices 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.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.