A pirate TV operation has been smashed by the Policia Nacional that supplied copyrighted channels via the internet to at least 15,000 viewers in Spain.

Eight people have been arrested in a two-stage operation with the first detentions in Cordoba, Malaga, Valencia, and Zamora provinces.

The main distributor of the illegal IPTV service was then detained in the Murcia region, along with another person.

The gang accessed subscription TV channels and then illegally distributed them to clients who were charged for the clandestine service.

Bank accounts totalling around €300,000 were frozen by the police.

Officers tracked down the group by going onto ‘closed’ social media groups where the illegal IPTV service was being advertised.

The relay was abruptly terminated during a first series of house raids and distribution equipment seized.

Inquiries led the Policia Nacional to discover that the main hub of the IPTV network was being routed from the Murcia region, after officers discovered payments were being made to a ‘third party’.

Two people, including the main supplier of the IPTV service, were detained in the Murcia area and a third man is being investigated.

Computers were seized and police say that various names were used to open up bank accounts through which profits were routed.

No additional details have been provided about the arrested men and whether they were catering for Spanish language viewers or non-Spaniards in the country.

Sports bodies like La Liga have been especially keen to enforce measures against piracy which has the potential to reduce the value of any rights deals they negotiate with broadcasters and streamers.

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