ACE has shut down the live sports piracy site Watchwrestling.ai and its associated domains, and the sites now redirect to ACE’s ‘Watch Legally’ page. ACE worked closely with DAZN on this action. The organisation says it serves as a warning to pirates everywhere “that their days are numbered.”
Over the past year, watchwrestling.ai and its associated domains have logged more than 253 million visits. Most of the traffic originated from the United States, the UK, India and Canada.
ACE – The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment – which describes itself as the world’s leading anti-piracy organisation, confronted the site’s Uttar Pradesh, India, based operator, who complied with their cease-and-transfer demands.
“The shutdown of watchwrestling.ai marks an important victory in our ongoing campaign against the piracy of live sports programmes,” declares Jan van Voorn, Executive Vice President and Chief of Global Content Protection at the Motion Picture Association, who is also Head of ACE. “The use of piracy sites to view live sporting and pay-per-view events is impacting the sustainability of live event programming.
“Legal services provide premium entertainment content that is reliable and legal. Piracy funds crime groups and puts consumers at risk of malware infection. This case should serve as a warning to illegal piracy operators everywhere that their days are numbered.”
Sports streamer DAZN worked with ACE on this case. Ed McCarthy, Chief Operating Officer at DAZN Group, says: “DAZN has invested significant amounts in building a successful business around combat sports, helping fund the development of MMA and boxing, as well as providing the best quality content and service for fans. To continue to invest, we have to be able to protect our intellectual property.
“The enforcement work ACE undertakes, as part of its joint Sports Piracy Task Force initiative, is a critical element of this work. It is particularly pleasing to see a criminal endeavour of this size being effectively tackled, and the positive outcome that potential subscribers will be redirected to legitimate providers of content such as DAZN.”
The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment is a powerful coalition of 50 media and entertainment companies and sports associations, dedicated to reducing digital piracy. It uses criminal referrals, civil litigation, and cease and desist operations. Its work is enhanced by the Motion Picture Association's content protection operation.
Current ACE board members include Amazon, Apple TV+, NBCUniversal, Netflix Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Paramount, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Warner Bros. ACE President Charles Rivkin is also President and CEO of the Motion Picture Association.