The English Premier League has launched its first anti-piracy campaign in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
The ‘Boot Out Piracy’ campaign will run across digital platforms and will featuring an array of the EPL’s top stars, including Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling.
The advertising drive aims to raise consciousness of the compromised viewing quality and the risks fans will face if they watch matches using illegal streams.
EPL managers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Pep Guardiola and Frank Lampard are also set to feature in the initiative that will launch in Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong ahead of the start of the 2020-21 season.
The campaign comes 18 months after the EPL opened its first Asia-Pacific office in Singapore, established primarily to tackle piracy and support broadcast partners in the region.
Premier League director of legal services Kevin Plumb said: “We want Premier League fans to watch our matches in the best possible way, not ruined by time-lags, glitches or viruses and malicious malware… There is a hidden cost to watching football through pirate services and this campaign reminds fans it is not worth compromising broadcast quality or the risk of becoming a victim of data theft or fraud.
The EPL has already engaged in wide-ranging anti-piracy efforts in Asia which include blocking action against illegal apps and websites in Singapore and Indonesia and blocking illegal websites in Malaysia.
It has also been working with law enforcement authorities to bring criminal action against suppliers of illicit streaming devices and website operators across the region, including in Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.
Head of sports at Malaysian broadcaster Astro Lee Choong Khay, said: “Together with the Premier League, Astro is committed to working with the authorities to protect the value of intellectual property by fighting piracy. As the official and exclusive broadcaster in Malaysia, Astro is committed to serving sports fans with the best and a hassle-free viewing
The EPL say by using illegal streams supporters expose themselves to the threat of malicious malware and ransomware, which could lead to data theft and fraud.