Police investigation: 166 establishments guilty of illegally broadcasting football matches in Spain


On Thursday, May, 19, the Spanish National Police reported that they had carried out an investigation that has led to 166 establishments being charged of the illegal broadcast of football matches causing over €1 million in intellectual property damage costs.

“🚩 166 establishments inspected for illicit distribution of television signals of #football #matches In #Sevilla #Málaga #Córdoba, #Zaragoza #Valladolid #Murcia Palma de #Mallorca #Gijón #Madrid #Vigo #LasPalmas #Bilbao and #Barcelona,” read a tweet posted by the Spanish National Police.

Credit: Twitter @policia

The full report released on their official government website stated:

The National Police inspects 166 establishments for illegal distribution of television football matches.

“The investigation has been carried out in the cities of Seville, Malaga, Cordoba, Zaragoza, Valladolid, Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Gijon, Madrid, Vigo, Las Palmas, Bilbao and Barcelona.”

“166 people have been charged as alleged perpetrators of a crime against intellectual property and it is estimated that the economic damage caused to the owners of the illegally distributed audiovisual content amounts to more than 1,000,000 euros.”

“The investigation began in January 2022 as a result of a complaint filed by La Liga against hotel and catering establishments in different Spanish provinces that were illegally distributing the signal of football matches of Spanish teams, without the authorisation of the owners of said content.”

“During the course of the investigation, the agents carried out the appropriate checks on the commercial establishments broadcasting football matches of the La Liga Santander and UEFA Champions League competitions.”

“After several investigations, it was confirmed that 166 establishments in different Spanish cities – Seville, Malaga, Cordoba, Zaragoza, Valladolid, Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Gijon, Madrid, Vigo, Las Palmas, Bilbao and Barcelona – were involved in the fraudulent broadcasting of football matches.”

“With this information, a macro operation was launched to carry out a coordinated inspection of all the commercial establishments under investigation during the course of one of the days of the LaLiga Santander football competition. ”

“As a result, the entire infrastructure that allowed the illegal viewing of paid multimedia content was dismantled, with the identification of those responsible and the cessation of the illegal service they were providing.”

“The owners of the commercial establishments under investigation are charged with an offence against intellectual property as those allegedly responsible for the fraudulent distribution of audiovisual content, as they used decoders or micro-controllers to illegally access protected content broadcast on encrypted channels.”

“In doing so, they obtained a fraudulent economic benefit by offering the possibility of watching sporting events, only broadcast on encrypted channels, which gave them an extra service that other establishments did not offer.”

“The economic damage caused to the owners of the illegally distributed audiovisual content is estimated at €1,066,386.”

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Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at

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