The action led by the Dutch fiscal authorities led to the seizure of an entire data centre with a total of 1,200 servers in the city of Den Helder. The reason was that almost all the servers in the building were used to supply streams for illegal IPTV subscriptions.
In more than a million living rooms in Europe – including hundreds of thousands in the Netherlands – the picture went black. Illegal IPTV services are big business: according to research, 1 million Dutch people paid an average of €6.82 per month (€93 million per year) to illegal IPTV services in 2018.
At Broadband TV News we have noticed that the illegal services are now coming back online. In some cases, almost the entire live channel offering is back. In other cases, the offerings come back step by step. This primarily involves the offer of linear channels. So the operators of the illegal IPTV services have managed to find ways to get the necessary internet streams to themselves by other means and then pass them on to customers through their network.
Films and series originating from streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video are mostly not yet back with the affected services.
The current state of affairs shows that it is difficult to completely stop illegal IPTV platforms. Although the closed data centre was probably a major pivot in the spread of illegal IPTV in Europe, it appears that within a little over a week, services are returning.