Those who don't have access to a TV may find it harder to watch the Super Bowl this year.
Reuters reported on Thursday that the federal government shut down 16 websites that gave users access to pirated streams of live sportscasts. The sites included links to NFL, NBA, NHL and WWE broadcasts.
The websites are irstrow.tv, firstrowsports.com, firstrowsports.net, firstrowsports.tv, hq-streams.tv, robplay.tv, soccertvlive.net, sports95.com, sports95.net, sports95.org, sportswwe.net, sportswwe.tv, sportswwe.com, xonesports.tv, youwwe.com and youwwe.net.
Sites such as these take away broadcast revenue from teams and leagues, which in turn, causes ticket prices and network rates to skyrocket.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told reporters, "These websites and their operators deprive sports leagues and networks of legitimate revenue" in what amounts to "virtual thievery."
These illegal sites have proven to be popular, as even Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he used one to watch last year's Super Bowl while in Costa Rica last year.