[ELI5] How can TV networks identify illegal streams to take them down?

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I notice this happens a lot when there is a major sporting event and you will find a lot of the free streams on youtube or other sites but it is often that the stream gets taken down for “policy violations”. Usually this happens on the streaming side rather than youtube banning the streamer.

How do the TV networks know which account to ban? Is there watermarking involved?

In: 3

They scrape the internet for links.

How do you find an illegal stream? You probably google “event name online free” or something like that. It’s not hard to find reliable results like that.

Networks and event organizers do the same thing with either software or human labor. They search for the links, confirm they are illegal, and then take them down through legal means such as having the connecting ISP disconnect service.

It’s fairly easy to determine what’s a legitimate stream and what isn’t – they have a list of every service that the stream is available on, and it is a very short list.

For instance, UFC fights only broadcast on UFC fight pass PPV, and ESPN+. They search for and find any stream which isn’t one of those two, and take them down.