Three men who provided illegal Premier League streams sentenced to total of 17 years in prison

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The Premier League have cracked down on illegal streams over the last few years in a bid to support its broadcasters. 

That move was bad news for many football fans who watched online rather than paying for a subscription through Sky Sports or BT. 

It was even worse for those people that were providing the dodgy websites.

On Thursday, three men who sold illegal streams to more than 1000 pubs, clubs and homes across the UK were jailed for a combined total of 17 years. 

According to the BBC, Steven King, Paul Rolston and Daniel Malone were all found guilty of 'conspiracy to defraud' after a four-week trial at Warwick Crown Court. 

It's reported that the group made over £5 million providing their piracy service and were handed some of the longest sentences ever given for that particular crime. 

51-year-old King received the heaviest sentence and will face seven years and four months in prison. 

Rolston, aged 54, was given 12 months less, while 42-year-old Daniel Malone was handed a sentence of three years and three months. 

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The judge presiding over the case called their operation a 'dishonest, dodgy business,' and also hit out at pub owners who used the streams, branding them as 'profoundly dishonest'. 

Thursday's sentencing was a clear win for the Premier League and its legal distributors. 

Kevin Plumb, director of legal services for the Premier League released a statement following the decision.

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"The custodial sentences issued here reflect the seriousness and the scale of the crimes," he said, per the PL's official website.

"Using these services is unlawful and fans should be aware that when they do so they enter into agreements with illegal businesses."

"The Premier League's investment into cutting edge technology, combined with wide-ranging anti-piracy actions such as the one here today and the continuing landmark blocking injunction, means that it has never been more difficult for football piracy to operate in the UK."

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