On December 11, 12 and 13, the National Police carried out a macro-operation on a national level with the registration in more than 2,000 bars and public establishments, and the search of more than 800 illegal decoders, for broadcasting LaLiga's soccer matches without a license, according to the Professional Football League.
The operation was carried out by the Central Cybercrime Unit of the National Police, coordinated by the Computer Crime Unit of the State Attorney General's Office, following the complaint lodged by the Integrity and Security Department of LaLiga. The crimes allegedly attributed to those responsible for the establishments that may have been intervened are classified in articles 270.1 and 286.4 of the penal code and carry implicit penalties of up to 4 years in prison.
This work team, composed of more than a hundred workers, has already done so far this season football more than 20,000 visits to public establishments that broadcast football, detecting more than 9,000 fraudulent emissions, according to the LFP. As a result of this information, LaLiga proceeded to report to the Police the aforementioned criminal acts, bringing to their attention both the information available to them and the documentary support obtained.
The subscription to football for public establishments (bars, restaurants, hotels, bingo halls, etc.) is considerably more expensive than that of a home. After the last rise at the beginning of the current season 2018/19 goes from 265 euros a month charged by Orange, to 338.8 euros charged by Vodafone or 395.67 euros from Movistar, all of them with VAT included.
LaLiga auctions separately the rights of its competitions in a lot called Horeca, which includes hotels, bars, cafeterias and restaurants, of which 200,000 have hired football on television. Mediapro has exclusive rights to the channel bars of the current season 2018/19 after acquiring them to Vodafone and Orange for 120 million euros. In addition, the producer of Jaume Roures took over the rights of this channel in the last auction for the next three seasons, from 2019/20 to 2022/23, for 481 million euros. The Catalan company acts as a mere reseller of these rights for operators that include it in their telecommunications packages and market it in bars.
The hospitality industry of Spain, which brings together this type of public facilities, held a meeting last week, after the records, with the Professional Football League and Mediapro to convey their concern for "the thousands of investigation procedures that have begun the National Police, in which some cases of irregular actions in the emission of soccer matches have been detected ".
Complaint of the innkeepers
This business confederation denounces that since last September there has been a "disproportionate rise" (up to 44%) by operators in football rates for bars., Which created "a situation of alarm in the sector since, in many of the cases, this invoice means an expenditure superior to the one of basic functions as they can be the water and the light ".
Hospitality of Spain admits that this rise in the price of football has meant the proliferation of decoder distribution networks with an illegal signal for hotels because the price increase "does not discriminate in any way the size and location of establishments, so it does not take into account that a large part of the almost 278,000 restaurants distributed throughout the national territory, are small and located in rural areas "
The LFP has offered the creation of a follow-up commission to provide individualized solutions to those affected through hospitality associations, which can be used if necessary.
The complaints against the bars are the result of data collected by the territorial network of content license verifiers of LaLiga, a work team created specifically for the detection of public establishments that broadcast LaLiga matches illegally.
"This police operation is a huge success, not only for the football industry, but for the entire entertainment industry in our country. The immense work done by the LaLiga Verification Network and the successful operation of the National Police mark a before and after in the fight against piracy, "said LaLiga President Javier Tebas. "We have to be very clear when it comes to describing these practices as what they are, crimes, and remaining firm in the fight against this scourge," he added.