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'I don't NEED to pay' to watch football, thunders EU digi-czar

Bad news on the way for Sky Sports et al

Europe’s new digital chief’s passion for ending geo-blocking has been explained: he’s missing out on his beloved Estonian football.

The European Commission’s VP for the digital economy and former Estonian prime minister, Andrus Ansip, has reiterated his determination to end so-called geo-blocking in every speech he has made since taking up the job last month.

His Tuesday statement to the European Parliament was no exception – but he went further, revealing that he’s fed up of not being able to watch Estonian football in Brussels.

Ansip, known as The Robot back home, said: “I pay my taxes in Estonia, so why, when in Brussels, can’t I watch content I bought legally. As a [licence] payer I should be able to watch the football, but I find it’s blocked, blocked, blocked!”

“I don’t want to steal, but being realistic, everyone knows that I don’t need to pay. There are technological ways to watch without paying, and then creators don’t get any of my money,” he added, showing that he is at least familiar with VPN tunnelling.

Ansip has also said he is keen to “reform” copyright and again used football as his example, referring to an ECJ case where a pub landlady wanted to use a foreign-bought decoder to show Premier League games in the UK. ®

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