Brady: I Watched Super Bowl Last Year On Illegal Website

NEW YORK (AP) — With the Super Bowl days away, federal authorities announced a crackdown Thursday on websites that stream unauthorized broadcasts of sports events just hours after New England quarterback Tom Brady told reporters in Indianapolis that he watched last year’s game on an illegal site.

Investigators seized 16 sites and brought criminal charges against a Michigan man who controlled nine of them.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara warned sports fans in a release that piracy costs sports leagues and broadcasters millions of dollars, forcing increases in ticket prices and other costs to consumers.

His message came soon after Brady casually mentioned his own use of illegal websites during a news conference staged in preparation for the Super Bowl on Sunday between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.

“Last year I was rehabbing my foot in Costa Rica, watching the game on an illegal Super Bowl website. And now I’m actually playing in the game. So, it’s pretty cool,” Brady said.

Web operator Yonjo Quiroa, of Comstock Park, Mich., was charged Wednesday with copyright infringement. Prosecutors said he distributed football, basketball and hockey games and wrestling matches.

Quiroa appeared in federal court in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Wednesday. He was held without bail while his immigration status was under review. Larry Phelan, his lawyer, declined to comment.

In court papers, authorities said Quiroa registered nine of the 16 seized domain names in 2010 and 2011 before operating the websites out of his home, collecting profits of at least $13,000 from online merchants who paid him to advertise on the sites.

Authorities said the prosecution was part of a continuing federal effort to target counterfeiting and piracy on the Internet.

Also in Indianapolis, federal authorities said they seized nearly $5 million worth of phony Super Bowl sportswear and merchandise in a nationwide sweep that was the result of a four-month investigation.

Officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection said agents targeted stores, flea markets and street vendors that allegedly sold counterfeit game-related sportswear. Fake jerseys, ball caps, T-shirts, jackets and other souvenirs were among the 42,000 items confiscated in Operation Fake Sweep.

Authorities put the total take at more than $4.8 million, up from $3.7 million last year.

Also seized were counterfeit Major League Baseball, NBA and NHL items worth about $1.6 million.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • The Cryptojournalist

    Tom Brady, step up your accommodations chief!

    • NooYawkah

      He should know better than to have Directv in a country with so much rain.

      • Gibbs Bentley

        “If you need to shave and you still collect baseball cards, you’re a dope. If you’re a kid, the cards are keepsakes of your idols. If you’re a grown man, they’re pictures of men.” ~ George Carlin


    • Ryan

      I don’t know about you but no more illegal superbowl websites is more proof that the apocalypse is coming!

      Better get prepared!

    • Bdeholl

      This year he’ll be watching it on his back…

      • Zibnewskilata

        In your dreams. The Giants will be the Pats bit$%es on Sunday night

      • Mark Twain

        The only thing worse than a pretty girl, is a paycheck that is both within and out of reach while thinking about that girl

  • uncle tom

    So whats the big deal I didn’t watch any foot ball games for the last 10 years or so because it is a waste of time and my money.

    • Ryanxx11

      Then why did you click on an article about football then? Did you just come in to comment that you don’t watch it? Wow you are such a trend setter, please pick up your prize on the way out.

      • Brian

        That’s awesome.

      • jacques poiutine

        I clicked because i thought it was aboiut wayne brady.

      • Bryan R

        I don’t watch either. Deal with it!

      • henry pierce

        I clicked because of the reference to illegal websites not football…and not Brady… not sure still who he is.

    • escho

      He watched it illegally not because he is broke. but because NFL has a lousy distribution product, Maybe if they spent more money fixing their garbage website than going after illegal websites, then they wouldn’t have a problem. This should give the industry a clue that they need to compete with the free market, yes, even if its their product to begin with. If your product sucks, FIX IT.

      • ralfscarrie

        JT: It’s not theft. When you steal something, you have it and the victim doesn’t. It’s piracy. It’s an important distinction.

      • Justin Time

        Theft is acceptable because the product sucks?

        Well, that makes sense …

  • Jeffrey

    “Quiroa appeared in federal court in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Wednesday. He was held without bail while his immigration status was under review.”

    If you’re an illegal alien, hold up a liquor store or murder someone and the federal government wouldn’t think of deporting you. Violate copyright law and you’re public enemy number one.

    • george garris

      Over 2000 Americans murdered by illegals every year !!!

  • Don

    So, Brady is a Patriot, they’re accustomed to cheating. Illegally viewing copyrighted material is nothing for them.. BTW, will Brady be charged? Nah, i didn’t think so.

    • Will

      Show me where it says it is illegal to view it.

    • Zibnewskilata

      Don, you’re a sore loser and the Pats will crush the Giants.

      • Brad

        Yeah! Just like they did when in SB XLII when they were a perfect 19-and…

        Oh. Never mind.

  • juneau

    Interesting, the last paragraph states that there were “1.6 million of counterfeit items.” Was it really 1.6 million even though it was counterfeit? I’m pretty sure counterfeit items are only worth the material they are made of. Think about it.

  • Bill smith

    What does it cost the average Joe to see a Super Bowl game today, $1000? Cry me a river NFL, when players are getting million dollar salaries…

    • Bryan R

      $1000? A week ago tickets were $3400 for seats with no view!

      • Bill smith

        Guess I will have to hack into one of the 40 cameras that NBC is setting in place…

    • Matt

      I thought the same thing, if its counterfeiting thats causing ticket prices to go up and the teams and the NFL cant make a profit (thats a laugh!) then why arent players salaries going down? I think maybe the labor costs have to factor into the lack of profit somehow dont they? Oh yeah, thats right, I think all football teams are wildly profitable, thats why the NFL even expanded to add more teams not too terribly long ago……..

      The Federal Govt and all its Corporate Henchmen suck butt.

  • Brian

    Brady must not have had “the express written consent of the national football legaue”. It’s the gulag for you thomas! Seriously though, the commish is gonna love hearing that.

  • datruth

    simply viewing counterfeit material is not a crime in the USA, at least not a realistically enforceable one. maybe there is some “knowingly accepting counterfeit goods” law on the books somewhere but it would be hard to enforce. even if they ddi want to go after people just for streaming or leeching what would the punishment be? the same as shoplifting a movie? if you are the federal government are you going to spend money on a forensic computer examiner just to get a 100 dollar fine out of someone?

    dinosaur media companies think they own your eyeballs and everything they see. they do not. you have a birthright to absorb any information you seek out during your life. piracy is not stealing, the owners still have all their masters and overpriced, pollution producing dvd/bluray copies in their warehouses. piracy is simply a refusal to adhere to antiquated copy-write laws that were basically all written by disney lobbyists. i dont know about you, but im a red blooded intelligent american male, i consider myself an authentic patriot, and i will NEVER bow down to the unjust laws written by some robber barron. they literally want to govern the internet directly and freeze technological media evolution in its tracks. if they would accept things like fair media outlet ownership rules, line sharing, fair competition, and most importantly fair IP expiration dates then maybe i would respect them more. but as far as things go in the real world right now i have zero respect for pretty much any media company in america and ill leech as hard as i can until the day i die and ill teach everyone who wants to learn how to leech just as hard as me.

    • Htos1

      This is how you beat computer forensics boys and girls(however do NOT dork around with this):

      @ the command line(batch file)
      1. Create a MSDOS bood disk with Debug

      2. At DOS command prompt type the following: Debug[Enter] (Where enter is to press the enter key once)

      NOTE: Type the following bolded text only. You will recieve an error if you type anything other than the bold text. The non-bolded text represents what will appear on you screen once you press [Enter] after each command.

      -F 200 L1000 0 [Enter]
      -A CS:100 [Enter]
      xxxx:0100 MOV AX,301 [Enter]
      xxxx:0103 MOV BX,200 [Enter]
      xxxx:0106 MOV CX,1 [Enter]
      xxxx:0109 MOV DX,80 [Enter]

      NOTE: ( — “80” for hd0, “81” for hd1)

      xxxx:010c INT 13 [Enter]
      xxxx: 010e INT 20 [Enter]
      xxxx: 0110 [Enter]

      -G [Enter]
      “Program terminated normally”

      3. Turn off the computer. On the next startup the hard drive will need to be partitioned and formatted.

      • Computer Engineer

        All this does is remove the partition information, and does not erase the hard drive. The problem for you is that a forensic examiner does not need partition information to gain access to files that were contained within the partition. Massive fail, nice try though.

      • hold the mayo

        Watch out Zib! You’re the meat in a geek sandwich.

      • uncomplicatedlife

        A hammer is quicker and more permanent.

      • Zibnewskilata

        Change your username to “Geek” lol

  • Steve M.

    Preet Bharara, is the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Can someone please explain to me why he is going after someone and his servers are in Michigan?

  • jj

    How in the world does watching illegally on the internet cost broadcasters $millions?? If they can’t watch the game they will be watching youtube videos. Is Bharara another idiot in this admin that is clueless?

    • Chris S

      Costing millions of dollars? The man running all those site for the last two years made 13k the story said. How is that costing broadcasters millions?

  • jthc

    What’s strange is that the networks and NFL make their money off ad revenue, Illegal streams still show the commercials. So what are they really losing?

  • steve

    I think it is far more important to shut down illegal internet sites than enforce U.S. laws by allowing illegals to enter the U. S. Once here, Obama and Pelosi will give them legal status and garner more votes. Illegal internet sites can’t vote.

  • OklahomaBound

    I’ve watched a lot of NFL games on sites the government likely considers illegal. The reason these websites are considered illegal is because they are showing content that the government has allowed to be monopolized and for some reason they are okay with that monopoly. In other words out of market NFL game content can only be watch by subscribing to Direct-TV’s enormously over-priced NFL Sunday Ticket. Our commie government has never been shy about going after companies they felt were acting as a monopoly (AT&T, Microsoft, etc), but when it comes to the NFL they allow the league to sell their out-of-market content to Direct-TV and no one else which means Direct-TV can sell that product at any price they choose without competition. If the government has its panties in a wad because websites based outside of the US are streaming NFL content around the world, including back into the US, and feel it is cutting into the NFL’s profits then maybe they should tell the NFL that they have to make their content available to all cable and satellite companies. The resulting competition, in place of the current monopoly, would set a market driven price for the content that most all consumers could afford to buy rather than having to go to illegal sites to get games for free in a low-quality stream.

    Heck, several years ago I sent an email to my State Rep (I was living in the Socialist Republic Of Washington at the time so my Rep was a commie leftist) complaining about this monopoly and the resulting high prices and he sent back a reply pretending to empathize with me by spewing some rant about the evils of George Bush on a subject that wasn’t even remotely related to my complaint. I guess he figured that any constituent that emailed him in California’s commie cousin up North must be complaining about Bush so any bash session about Bush would be the red meat required to shut someone up. Probably a valid tactic if I had indeed been a brain dead lib. As long as the very government who pretends to seek justice by going after these sites continues to turn a blind eye to the illegal monopoly that spawned these sites I’ll keep seeking out and watching websites that show NFL content for free, and those sites will pop up faster than the government can shut them down because most of them are outside of the US.

  • Bryan R

    Oh no! The piracy is hurting the NFL and other organizations. Can we get a collective AWWWWWW?

    As far as the counterfeit stuff, yes, it’s illegal, but it creates jobs. These are the kind of jobs Obama has created and saved. I just read how much meth lab production has increased over the last 2 years. Yay Obama! Keep them jobs comin’!

  • Jim

    Tom Brady — rocket scientist. Not.

    • karnak

      Have you seen the source material? If not, then this story could be complete bunk. I sense a lawsuit coming of this.

  • alanwillingham

    I don’t know where the “illegal sites” are or how to use them, but it seems to me that people watching there aren’t the type who are willing to pay to watch anyway. The flawed argument that they are costing someone millions of dollars of lost revenue is absurd.

    I will look at and appreciate a pretty girl in a bikini and argue that I am not depriving some strip club of their lawful income.

  • david

    If the NFL or ESPN360 wouldn’t block viewing of content overseas, then people wouldn’t be forced to try and keep up with their fave teams on “illegal” websites…

    • dam

      He could have used a VPN. Problem solved.

  • Who cares

    Yes, the reason sports tickets are so expensive is because of illegal web sites and fake jerseys. LOL give me a break. It has nothing to do with the greed of the players teams or advertisers.

    • HomerJ

      It was just something for ICE to do while illegal aliens and drug smugglers pour over the border

  • VIc

    What a cheapskate! Jeez, pay for it like the rest of us have to. Thanks Obama, president of the people; yeah right.

    • cody

      You do not have to pay for network feeds……..They are FREE

  • cody

    Think about this for just a minute…….You can receive NBC for free of of an antenna………You re-broadcast the signal over the internet for free which you receive for free……Just not seeing the copyright infringement here??

    • VIc

      Not supposed to be able to rebroadcast. Probably against the law. Just joking, who cares, really…

      • cody

        Just was saying, it was ok for Brady but I actually know people in Costa Rica who watch it and just leave well enough alone……

  • MZ

    No TV to watch it on? What was his wife watching Dancing With The Stars on the TV?

  • MZ

    Ah I see. In Costa Rica! Watching poor man’s Season Ticket.

  • FudgeYou DinoMedia

    How does doing anything on a website stop these people from getting money? How does it up the price of anything? Does people not watching the Super Bowl make the ticket price go up? NO! Then how can people watching it on something else make it go up? Nothing lost nothing gained. Most people who use torrent sites or other such “Illegal” sites are in two camps, those who would never buy your product but might after having seen it for free or those that HAVE already bought or ARE planning to buy but need to see it NOW (something thats fixed by such sites as Hulu or the South Park website that has EVERY episode available to watch WHENEVER!. You aren’t losing money, Your movies are overpriced, your television is half assed, and your sports are lame. Who can afford to go to one of these games, and I don’t mean the Super Bowl! More often than not people will go to an official site if such a site exists. MAKE A FREE STREAMING SUPER BOWL SITE AND THIS “PROBLEM” GOES AWAY! It’s not like you won’t be making MASSIVE ad dollars! Get over yourselves old media! This is exactly how they responded to the VCR. UP YOURS!

  • cody

    Actually this year the Super Bowl will be on the internet for free from NBC on their site…………

  • Joe

    Jim. Rocket scientist. Not.
    Jim. Has a job. Not.

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