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Eleven Sports gives up on blackout-busting football

Eleven Sports is to stop screening live football on Saturday afternoons.

Citing "pressure from stakeholders", the online broadcaster has confirmed it will not attempt to screen live Spanish and Italian football between 2:45 and 5:15pm on Saturdays; the "blackout" window that applies in England and Scotland, restricting coverage of live football on TV.

In a statement released this afternoon, Eleven Sports said the blackout was one of the "main generators of piracy" with games "easily accessed on illegal sites".

It went on to say "Fans in the UK should have the freedom and the choice to watch these games legally through the official rights holder, as they do all over the world. Regrettably, intense pressure from stakeholders within the football establishment means that football fans across the country do not have this option."

La Liga says it supports Eleven Sports stance on the matter.

Last week, The Times broke the story of Eleven Sports bid to break the blackout, with boss Andrea Radrizzani vowing to continue broadcasting live football on Saturday afternoon. The story was later picked up by other outlets as the threat of legal action grew. The Premier League had reportedly made a complaint to the FA.