Bloomberg News

Michigan Man Arrested for Illegally Streaming Sports Events

February 02, 2012

(Adds quote from prosecutor in the third paragraph.)

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- A Michigan man was arrested for operating websites that illegally streamed football and basketball games over the Internet just days before the Super Bowl will be distributed live to some mobile devices.

Yonjo Quiroa, 28, was arrested yesterday and federal prosecutors seized 16 websites, including nine operated by him, according to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

“Sports fans may be tempted by illegal streaming websites, but in the end it is they who pay the price,” Bharara said in a statement today. “These websites and their operators deprive sports leagues and networks of legitimate revenue, forcing spectators and viewers to bear the cost of this piracy.”

The New York Giants and New England Patriots will play in a Super Bowl rematch Feb. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Verizon Communications Inc. said today in a statement that it will stream the Super Bowl over some mobile devices, the first time that the game may be viewed in that fashion.

The websites seized by the federal government are known as “linking sites” because they provide access to other sites that host pirated events, Bharara said. Linking sites are popular because they allow users to browse and locate sporting events that would otherwise be hard to find, he said.

Quiroa, who lives in Comstock Park, earned at least $13,000 from merchants who advertised on his sites, prosecutors said. He was arrested yesterday in Michigan and charged with copyright infringement.

The case is U.S. v. Quiroa, 12-mag-00241, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

--Editors: Charles Carter, David E. Rovella

To contact the reporter on this story: David Glovin in New York federal court at dglovin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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