LaLiga is taking the battle against piracy to the source and Google. The Spanish top flight recently claimed it wiped a heavy chunk of piracy websites in Spain. Javier Tebas, the league’s chief executive, said LaLiga took down 58 apps that led to over 1 million illegal downloads of live games. Tebas said he and LaLiga have reached out to Google to target apps already on Android devices so they too can be, as he put it, “eliminated.”

Tebas compared the illegal streaming of soccer games to child abuse images. He claims that if Google can track child abuse images on phones and take care of those assailants, it can do the same for illegal streaming of sports.

LaLiga spoke as part of the Fight Against Piracy in Sporting Events. Also in attendance was the Spanish Higher Sports Council (CSD). That organization cited facts that laid out the severity of piracy currently in Spain. According to the CSD, piracy in the European Union grew by over 3% in 2022. While not specifically mentioning LaLiga, Tebas’ comments demonstrate the league feels the effects of illegal streaming.

Tebas said 1.1 million people in Spain watched sports illegally. He identified that 800,000 of that piracy group use Android devices to watch LaLiga. A much smaller 300,000 use Apple devices. The 58 apps LaLiga eliminated work against that, but it is still hazy how successful LaLiga has been in dealing with piracy.

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Can Google help LaLiga with piracy issues?

Tebas said he reached out to Google to locate illegal streams on mobile phones.

“We are talking to Google and other platforms so that they can be located on those mobile phones,” Tebas said. “If it can be done and it is done, for example, for crimes such as child pornography, for intellectual property, which is stealing, they should have to do it too.”

Tebas wants to deal with those people who still have the piracy apps downloaded. Google can track these, as it has knowledge of what apps are available on Android devices. Still, it seems like a bold comment to relate sports streaming to child abuse images. However, there is a possibility that Tebas’ desire to hunt down piracy could lead to more financial backing for these kinds of services.